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Top 5 Canape Recipes

Harriet Worthington07 December 2016

The problem with canapés is that it's very difficult to stop at one. They are designed to tempt; I file them under ‘I’ for irresistible, alongside Pringles, sourdough toast and pistachio gelato. At a canapé party, you'll find me shadowing the waiting staff ready to pounce on a tray of arancini or other alluring morsels.

The word ‘canapé’ derives from the French word for sofa – drawing on the analogy that the garnish sits on top of the base as people do a sofa. They’ve undergone something of a revolution in recent years; the devilled eggs and vol-au-vent making way for tuna tartar and beef carpaccio. They’re somewhat of a soirée staple – an integral part of throwing a party and whilst not everyone expects Michelin starred nibbles, it is useful to have some impressive (and easy) canapé recipes up your sleeve.

1. Mini Welsh Rarebit

This is one of the greatest comfort foods condensed into one bite. The rarebit mix can be made ahead of time and spread onto crostinis and grilled just before serving. We’ve found the St John Restaurant’s Welsh rarebit recipe to be the most delicious.


2. Prosciutto, pear and rocket rolls

There is no cooking involved with this canapé, and all the elements can be prepped ahead of time and kept in the fridge. These always go down a treat at our corporate events. Keep your pear slices from browning by squeezing a lemon over the top and keeping them in an air tight container. Make sure to provide a bowl for your guests to put their empty toothpicks into.  


3. Cheddar scones with pickled celery and grilled figs

We've experimented with miniature versions of this recipe from Great British Chefs. Make sure to pickle the celery at least a day in advance and don’t cut it too thin as it will lose its bite. Scones always taste best when made on the same day they’re eaten so don’t be tempted to make them the day before (if you’re feeling super organised, the scones can be made in advance and then frozen. Simply defrost when needed.) Figs are a lovely winter addition and add a touch of colour to an otherwise beige canapé.


4. Pea, broad bean, Mint & Pecorino Crostini

Broad Bean, Pea, Mint & Pecorino Crostinis. The perfect addition to a spring canapé menu. #cactuskitchens #cookeryschool #canapé #party #catering #events #workinginfood #spring

A photo posted by Cactus Kitchens (@cactuskitchens) on Apr 17, 2016 at 9:09am PDT

Rather than shelling fresh peas and mint, use frozen and defrost thoroughly before use. Start with a little bit of mint and keep adding to taste so you don’t overpower the flavour of everything else.


5. Black olive and Parmesan Palmiers

These are basically the most delicious things in the whole world. Make sure to roll your palmiers tightly to give them a defined shape once they're cut. #cactuskichens #cookeryschool #michelrouxjr #patisserie #chef #GBBO #baking #palmier #pastry #delicious #puffpastry #food52 #instafood

A photo posted by Cactus Kitchens (@cactuskitchens) on Oct 19, 2016 at 12:23pm PDT

Don’t be afraid to make your own puff pastry – it’s easier than you think – but always keep a couple of rolls of good quality puff pasty in your freezer as it’s perfect for any last minute canapé emergencies. Roll your palmiers tight and give them time to sufficiently cool in the fridge to make sure you get a defined shape when you cut them out.