A Thank You Page - Waitrose Champagne & Vol-au-Vent Recipe

Throughout January, Waitrose offers a bottle of  complementary Waitrose Champagne brut to customers shopping £50 or more online. This gesture is part of their "Thank You Campaign," an unconventional way to prompt people to say "Thank You". Personally, I have a soft spot for "thank you" stories which are often heartwarming

On Saturday mornings, I often wake up to the sound of "Saturday Live" or rather "Saturday Dead" as it's known in the house. Far from being my favourite radio programme, I pop a pillow on the top of my head and only come out for the bit when people say "thank you".
A radiophonic catalogue of actions of kindness which were never acknowledged at the time. Ten minutes when humans, at their best, get a mention.

So Waitrose bought the Champagne. Now, we needed a person to say thank you to. This is when I realised that there is a long list of people, I am grateful to. Among which guest bloggers who in 2013 have been brilliant.
Take Allan, for example, who on his birthday stood in for Pebble Soup, bringing back loads of photos from Pastry Chef Richard Bertinet's Baking Master Class and a nice write up which has since been read by over 500 people. That alone deserved a big thank you.
The brief said "There are lots of different ways to serve and enjoy your champagne, from champagne cocktails to specific foods which taste amazing with bubbly, and even using champagne as an ingredient for your cooking"
After cooking Champagne Pâté, it occured to me that cooking with bubbly was a bit of a shame. However mushrooms and champagne are a good match. And  to give the occasion a retro-feel, also because vol-au vents are dead easy to prepare. I went for
 Mushroom Vol-au-Vent
First make a bechamel by heating the butter in a small pan, add the flour and whisk vigorously don't let it brown add the milk a little at the time as you carry on whisking, I often use the hand blender.
when the mix is creamy add the cheese turn the heat off, season to taste don't forget the nutmeg and reserve
Then tail and dice finely 5 or 6 mushrooms which need to be lighty fried in butter.
Now for the vol-au vent (and if you were wondering singular and plurial have the same spelling so here it make 6)
350g/12oz puff pastry1 free-range egg, beaten, plus 1 free-range egg yolkYou will also need a little flour, baking paper and a baking tray

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Sprinkle a little flour on a working surface and roll the puff pastry out about 5mm thick - Cut out 12 circles using a cutter I used a cup. place 6 of them on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Using a kitchen brush glaze them with the beaten eggs.

Cut a smaller circle out of the centre of six remaining circles.  Place the hollowed 6 remaining circles on each circle in the tray and brush again.
Cook in the oven for 10- 12 minutes

Leave it to cool a little, place on a serving dish and fill delicately with bechamel mixture.

They will be flatter than the pastry cases bought in the shop but really worth making yourself. The can be customised to your guest too.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Waitrose. On this occasion working with bloggers to promote their thank you campaign.

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