- Step 1
Preheat oven to 220C or 200C fan-forced.
- Step 2
Cut twenty 5cm rounds from pastry (return pastry to freezer if it becomes too soft to handle). Cut 3.5cm rounds from remaining pastry circles. Lightly brush edges with water. Place external rounds on top of pastry circles and place each stack in a 12 whole muffin pan (the muffin pan avoids the pastry tipping over too much). Use the pastry off cuts to make cheese puffs (place on another tray lined with baking paper. Brush with lightly beaten egg and sprinkle with grated cheddar and sesame seeds).
- Step 3
Bake vol-au-vent cases for 15 minutes, gently pushing back down centre with the rounded end of a wooden spoon and straightening pastry cases every 5 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Cool in pan.
- Step 4
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook prawns, chilli and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add butter and lemon juice and cook, scrapping up any brown bits from base of pan. Stir through parsley and season. Fill pastry cases with prawn mixture.
You can make the cases several hours ahead of time. Once cool, store in an airtight container. You can also buy ready-made vol-au-vent cases.
We used Careme puff pastry in order to give the height characteristic of vol-au-vents. Don't worry if the pastry does not puff up straight, it may not look perfect but it will still give a buttery, crisp and light result.
If using regular frozen puff pastry, use 1 1/2 sheets instead as it is thinner and wont puff up as much. Cut thirty 5cm rounds from pastry. Place 10 on a large baking tray lined with baking paper. Cut 3.5cm rounds from remaining pastry circles. Place 2 external rounds on top of each other over pastry circles on tray. Lightly brush pastry with a lightly beaten egg. Bake as per recipe.