Party Canapés

The party season is well and truly here folks!  Although for me this ‘party season’ seems to have run all year!  I’ve had 4 birthday parties, 1 christening, 1 housewarming/royal wedding celebration and my latest party this week was a ‘Jamie at Home’ party! Our local Christmas party is being held at the neighbours house, (phew) but I’m really looking forward to it!!  What I love about having a party is that it is an excuse to make mini food!  Or in other words canapés.  My little bit of research on canapés resulted in me concluding that the only canapés you can buy from the shops are items such as sausage rolls, stilton puffs or something similar.  Once you have seen these items a few times at various different events, the sight of any more puff pastry, (no matter what form) can make one feel, well somewhat queasy! This is of course just one of the reasons to make your own canapés.  Another reason is because they are lots of fun to do. The more adventurous you are the better.  They are like little pieces of artwork and require you to be as creative as you can, thinking outside the box.  It’s all about presentation and finishing touches.  You might find like I did that once you start thinking about these little wonders, new ideas pop into your head at random times.  My spin class is a popular time for me, when I’m trying to ignore the fact that gear 18 on a hill climb is actually about to make my legs drop off!

So this post is a collection of my favorite savory and sweet canapé recipes which I hope will help make your party a roaring success!  Your guests will certainly be appreciative that there is not a cocktail sausage in sight!  They will require a few hours of your time, but in my opinion homemade canapés are well worth the investment.  Some of them can be made in advance, or frozen and I have highlighted which ones as for me this is a must.  I like to do as much as possible before hand so I can enjoy the party too.  All these recipes include my own ideas, making them just a bit more unique 🙂

Lime, mango and prawn thai spiced mini skewer

What you will need

  • Medium pack of cooked tiger prawns
  • 1 mango peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 2 limes
  • 1 chopped chilli
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 25g grated ginger
  • 2 crushed cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp teriaki sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • cocktail sticks
  1. Put one prawn and one cube of mango on the cocktail sticks and put to one side on a baking tray
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to a bowl and mix together with a mini whisk or fork.  This will make your marinade
  3. Drizzle the marinade over the prawn and mango sticks, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours to soak up the flavour
  4. Remove from the fridge when ready to serve and place on your choice of bowl or serving platter

Sticky butternut squash

I did these the day before, put the cooked squash in the fridge and then popped them back in the over for 10-15 mins before I needed them to heat and serve.

What you will need

  • 1 butternut squash peeled and cut into squares
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2-3 tbsp sesame seeds
  • Cocktail sticks
  1. Preheat the oven to 180c, and place the cubes of butternut squash on a baking tray
  2. Mix the honey, soy sauce and sesame oil together and drizzle over the butternut squash
  3. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds, giving the squash a good shake half way through so all sides are covered
  4. cook for 30 mins or so until tender
  5. Once cooled put 2 cubes of squash onto each cocktail stick and serve.

Onion, cheese and olive mini scones

These can also be baked before hand, frozen and then defrosted on the day you need them and heated up in the oven for 10 mins to serve warm.

What you will need

  • 1 med onion chopped finely
  • 40g (1 1/2 oz) strong chedder grated
  • 6 pitted black olives – chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 75g (60z) self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 25g (1oz) butter cubed
  • 1 large free  range egg
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • Grinding of black pepper
  • Small round scone cutter
  • Pastry brush
  • Rolling pin
  • Lightly greased baking tray
  1. Pre heat the oven to 200c/400f/gas 6
  2. Fry the onion in the olive oil until soft and golden, set to one side
  3. Add flour salt, mustard, cayenne pepper and black pepper to a mixing bowl, and gently mix with hands
  4. Add the butter and rub in with fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
  5. Add the cooked onions, olives and 2/3 of grated cheese, using hands again to mix together
  6. Add the egg and mix together with hands, adding some milk if too dry (you might not need all the milk) until a soft dough is formed
  7. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out until 2 cm thick.  The trick here is not to roll out too thinly
  8. Use your cutter to stamp out the scones and place on baking tray with even distance between them
  9. Lightly knead together and re roll any trimming and cut out more scones
  10. Brush the top of the scones with milk and top each one with a bit of the reserved cheese
  11. Bake near the top of the oven for 10-12 mins

Goats cheese on toast with chilli jam

With these I made on the day but placed in the fridge until I needed them.  They don’t need to be served warm, despite their title.

What you will need

  • 1 thin baguette, I used a long, thin sour dough loaf.  You could also use ciabatta bread and once toasted stamp out rounds of bread with a small round pastry cutter
  • 125g soft goats cheese
  • 3tbsp chilli jam
  • fresh chives
  • Slice your bread and toast both sides for a few mins each under the grill
  • Spread some of the goats cheese over one side of the bread
  • Place a small dollop of chilli jam in the middle of the bread on top of the cheese (the chilli jam I used was quite hot so you don’t need too much)
  • Place two short chive strands on top of the jam to finish

Mini sponge cakes with marmalade and orange butter cream

To make these little bite sized beauties, I baked a victoria sponge cake as normal and then used my trusted small scone cutter to stamp out circles of cake.  I did not put two little stamped out circles of cake together like a normal sponge cake but just cut one circle across to make the two halves as it was thick enough for me to do this.  You will end up with some trimming of cake, I just put these in a bowl and served with custard as a quick and easy pudding for my children.

I baked these cakes the day before, and kept them in an airtight box over night.  I then filled them on the day I needed them.

What you will need

Cake

  • 225g (8oz) unsalted butter
  • 225g (8oz) caster sugar
  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225g (8oz) self raising flour
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 20.5 cm sandwich tins greased and lined
  • Small round pastry cutter

Filling

  • 3-4 tbsp marmalade
  • 1 orange peeling
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 125g  (4oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 400g (14oz) icing sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp milk
  • Dust with icing sugar and grated orange chocolate
  1. Put your milk in a bowl and place the orange peeling in the bowl, cover and put in the fridge for at least an hour
  2. When you are ready to bake the cake pre heat the oven to 180c/350f/gas 4.  Put butter in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale and creamy.  Add sugar and beat until fully incorporated.  Mixture should have a light and fluffy texture
  3. Gradually add eggs beating after each addition.  Sift in flour and add milk then fold in with a large metal spoon
  4. Once the flour is almost folded in put even amounts of the batter into the sandwich tine, gently smooth over and bake in the oven for 20-25 mins until golden brown and a knife comes out clean
  5. Meanwhile, mix the butter, icing sugar and orange zest together with an electronic mixer adding the orange flavoured milk (with orange peeling removed) bit by bit until it is a smooth and creamy consistency.  Then mix in full power for 4-5 mins until light and fluffy
  6. Cut out your little cakes, cut in half and fill with marmalade and orange buttercream.  Place on a cake stand and sprinkle with icing sugar

Individual blackberry meringues

For this you can bake the meringues a few days before and keep in an airtight container.  Top with the cream and fruit maximum of an hour before they are needed and keep in the fridge until served.

You will need

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 175g (6oz) caster sugar
  • 250 ml of whipping cream
  • 150g (5oz) blackberries (I used blackberries I have frozen from my garden and just defrosted before I used them)
  • 4-5 tbsp Creme De Cassis
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • Fresh mint to garnish
  • Large piping bag an star nozzle
  • 2 baking trays lined with parchment paper
  1. Preheat the oven to 140c/275f/gas 1
  2. Whisk egg whites together until white and frothy.  Add the sugar bit by bit, mixing well after each addition until a stiff meringue is formed.  This should pass the test of staying put if the bowl is tipped upside down.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the piping bag and pipe out small meringue nests onto the baking tray leaving an even space between them.  Bake for 1 hour and then turn off the oven and leave in there overnight or until the oven has cooled down
  4. When you are ready to decorate, whip up your cream, and mix the Cassis with the icing sugar in a cup.
  5. Place a teaspoon of cream on each meringue, add two blackberries, a drizzle of the Cassis mixture and a small mint leaf to garnish
  6. Dust with icing sugar just before serving
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28/11/2011. Christmas baking, Party.

4 Comments

  1. Holly B @ Recipes from a Normal Mum replied:

    Really lovely Fleur. xx

  2. Sue replied:

    Tasted these wonderful delights last week a very talented lady. Sue x

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