Struggling to work out what to feed your guests this Christmas? Or at any time for year for that matter.
Well, canapes might seem like a throwback to seventies chic, but these little morsels are actually the 21st century cook's best friend. Perfect for showing off your limited cooking skills, filling the house with great smells, and helping to soak up the booze before dinner, these are a great way to take the edge off an evening of entertaining.
After HuffPost UK Lifestyle asked nicely, nine of the greatest cooks from Great British Chefs came forward with their killer canape recipes.
Would you try these at home? Comment below.
Olive, Feta And Herb Muffins" width="52" height="52"/>
By Marcus Wareing Marcus Wareing’s recipe creates a wonderfully flavoured canape that can be served before a meal, or made and kept in an airtight container to cater for unexpected guests.Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Yield: 12 muffins Ingredients: 2 tsp baking powder 250g plain flour 0.5 tsp salt 0.5 tsp freshly ground black pepper 40g cheddar, grated 3 free-range eggs, beaten 4 tbsp semi skimmed milk 50ml extra virgin olive oil 100g black olives, pitted and sliced 1 tbsp tarragon, chopped 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped 1/4 bunch thyme, leaves only 100g feta 50g cream cheese 40g pumpkin seeds Butter for greasingInstructions: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas mark 4 and butter a 12-hole muffin tin.To make the muffins, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper together with the cheddar cheese in a large bowlStir the eggs, half the milk, oil, olives, parsley, tarragon and thyme together, then add the dry ingredients, prepared in Step 2 and lightly mix together until just combined.Separately mix the feta, cream cheese and another 2 tbsp of milk together to form a paste. Half fill each mould in the muffin tin with the muffin mixture, add one twelfth of the feta mixture to each muffin, then top each with the remaining muffin mixture.Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, then place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave the muffins to cool in their tin.Recipe courtesy of www.greatbritishchefs.com
Langoustine tails with basil" width="52" height="52"/>
By William Drabble This recipe from William Drabble uses feuille de bric pastry in this light canapé. Langoustine tails can be expensive, so it’s best to use this recipe for small, intimate gatherings.Ingredients: 6 langoustine tails 6 basil leaves 6 sheets feuille de bric pastry 1 lemon, juiced salt vegetable oil 3 tbsp green pesto/span> Instructions: Fill a large pan with water and bring to a simmer. Blanch the langoustine tails in the water for a few seconds, then remove from the heat. Peel and remove the vein from centre of each langoustine. Wrap each tail in a basil leaf.Cut the pastry into approx 2.5 cm squares. Place a langoustine tail into the centre of one of the squares then pull two opposite points together wrapping around the langoustine. To secure everything together put a cocktail stick through the centre of the langoustine.To cook, drop each parcel into a deep fat fryer for a few seconds until the feuille de bric is crispy.Season with a little salt and lemon, and pesto. Serve immediately. Recipe courtesy of www.greatbritishchefs.com
Goose and chestnut chipolatas" width="52" height="52"/>
By Simon Rogan Simon Rogan, head chef of one of Britain’s finest restaurants, L’enclume, poaches light goose sausages that are packed with flavour. If you can’t get hold of bilberries, blueberries would be a great substitute. Ingredients: Sausages 50g unsalted butter 15g onion, finely chopped 225g lean goose meat, cut into chunks 1 egg white 200ml double cream 6 chestnuts, cooked 2 tsp thyme Salt Pepper 1 knob of butter To plate 70g chestnut purée 20 bilberries 4 tsp parsley, chopped Instructions: To make the sausage, melt the butter in a frying pan and slowly fry the onions until soft. Put them with the goose meat in a food processor and blend until smooth.Put the mixture into a bowl set over ice, and slowly stir in the egg white and cream. Add the chestnuts and thyme, then season.Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 2cm nozzle. Pipe 15cm lengths onto pieces of cling film. Wrap the cling film around the lengths and twist the ends to form sausage shapes and tie each end.Poach the sausages in simmering water for 10 minutes and refresh in iced water.Remove from the cling film and lightly fry in butter until brown all over. Remove from the pan, cool and cut into 5cm lengths.To plate, sweep some chestnut purée on top of each piece of sausage, topped with a bilberry and some chopped parsley. Recipe courtesy of www.greatbritishchefs.com
Rocquefort pie with apricots and almonds" width="52" height="52"/>
By Pascal Aussignac An elegant, sweet and savoury canapé. Ingredients: Filo crisps 40g butter, plus more for greasing 2 sheets filo pastry 1 tbsp granulated sugar Poached apricots 12 apricots, semi-dried 100ml water 1 tsp granulated sugar 2 tbsp Armagnac To plate 200g Roquefort cheese 50g blanched almonds, sliced Instructions: Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Put them with the goose meat in a food processor and blend until smooth.Clarify the butter, then brush the middle of the filo pastry sheets with the clarified butter. Fold, and then brush them with butter again on top.Lay 4 long-handled wooden spoons evenly across a baking sheet. Drape the doubled-buttered filo sheets along the baking sheet over the spoon handles so that there are ridges and furrows. Sprinkle with the sugar.Bake the filo pastry in the oven for 8-10 minutes until it is golden and crisp. Remove and allow to cool before carefully removing the spoons.Remove from the cling film and lightly fry in butter until brown all over. Remove from the pan, cool and cut into 5cm lengths.Quarter each apricot and poach in the water with the sugar and Armagnac for 5-10 minutes. The apricots should be soft and the liquid should be absorbed.Use kitchen scissors to snip the pastry into 4 long fingers along the furrows. Crumble the Roquefort and sprinkle over the pastry, along with the almonds and apricots.Recipe courtesy of www.greatbritishchefs.com
Red pepper purée with goat’s cheese" width="52" height="52"/>
By Kevin Mangeolles This simple recipe from Kevin Mangeolles is sure to impress, combining mouthfuls of silky red pepper puree with cubes of goat’s cheese. Ingredients: 3 whole bell peppers 50g goat's cheese 75ml vegetable oil 1 tsp red wine vinegar Salt Instructions: Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas mark 4.Rub the peppers with oil and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Once cooked, remove them from the oven and peel, deseed and liquidize.Strain through a sieve for 1 hour to drain off the excess water.Season with salt and vinegar and put into a squeezy bottle. Pipe dots on to spoons.4. Cut the goats cheese into small cubes and place next to the purée. Serve.Recipe courtesy of www.greatbritishchefs.com
Goat’s cheesecake with red onion jam" width="52" height="52"/>
By Simon Hulstone These wonderful little savoury cheesecake bites from Torquay’s Simon Hulstone feature tangy red onion jam to get the taste buds going. Ingredients: For the red onion jam: 2 sheets filo pastry 4 red onions, finely sliced 17 garlic cloves 30g salt 12 cloves 14 juniper berries 1 handful thyme leaves 350g redcurrant jelly Oil For the goat's cheesecake: 60g puff pastry 10g poppy seeds 10g sesame seeds Salt 60g unsalted butter 500g Bosworth ash goats cheese log 200g cream cheese 300ml double cream 1 gelatine leaf To plate: 1 handful micro cress Instructions: Put a little oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic with the 30g of salt until they have released their juices and are soft.Wrap the thyme leaves, cloves and juniper berries in a muslin cloth then add to the pan with the balsamic vinegar and redcurrant jelly. Allow to simmer for 40 minutes.Remove the muslin cloth and chill what is left in the fridge until needed. It should resemble a jam.Bake the filo pastry in the oven for 8-10 minutes until it is golden and crisp. Remove and allow to cool before carefully removing the spoons.For the base, pre-heat the oven to 175˚C. Roll out the puff pasty until it is 1/2 cm thick and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Leave to cool and flake the puff pastry and blend with the seeds and salt in a bowl. Use the butter to bind the pastry together again.Roll the pastry out to just larger than the base of the tins, cut with the ring. Then leave to set. To make the topping, beat the cheeses together until smooth. Put the cream in a small pan, bring to the boil and add the cheeses.Soak the gelatine in cold water for 4 minutes, squeeze it out and mix into the cheese and cream until well combined.Pour the cheese mixture over the pre-set base and allow to set.Top each individual cheesecake with the red onion jam, and 2 pieces of micro cress. Recipe courtesy of www.greatbritishchefs.com
Curry salted parsnip crisps" width="52" height="52"/>
By Shaun Rankin This is a thrifty, easy to make canapé recipe from Shaun Rankin that makes perfect use of seasonal parsnips. The saltiness makes them the perfect accompaniment for a pre-dinner drink. Ingredients: 2 parsnips 500ml sunflower oil 1 tsp curry powder 0.5 tsp salt Instructions: Preheat the oven to 100°C/gas mark 1/2. Peel the parsnips and use a peeler to cut them into long, thin strips.Place the parsnips on a tray to dry out in the oven for 15-20 minutes.Preheat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 170°C and then fry until golden brown.Mix together the curry powder and salt.Remove the parsnips from the fryer and place on kitchen towel to drain.Just before serving, sprinkle over the curry salt.Recipe courtesy of www.greatbritishchefs.com
Cheese Beignets" width="52" height="52"/>
By Tom Aikens These cheesy deep-fried fritters from Tom Aikens and made with choux pastry flavoured with Parmesan. If you want to make a vegetarian version, substitute the Parmesan for Old Winchester or similar. Serves 25 Ingredients: 250ml water 50g butter 70g plain flour/span> 100g grated Parmesan 4 eggs 0.5 tsp English mustard Salt Pepper Polenta for dusting Vegetable oil Instructions: Add the butter to the water and bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat and add the flour.Cook slowly for about 8 minutes until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan. Separate 3 of the eggs and add 3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg along with the mustard, salt and a generous amount of pepper.Pipe balls of the mixture onto tray covered with polenta and coat the beignets. Heat a deep fat fryer to 180°C and fry the beignets for 2 minutes until crisp. Alternatively you could fry them in a large pan. Drain well on a paper towel before serving.Recipe courtesy of www.greatbritishchefs.com
Cheese Scones" width="52" height="52"/>
By Daniel Clifford, These cheese scones from Daniel Clifford, head chef at Cambridgeshire’s Midsummer House, creates a simple canapé that is easy to make at home. Ingredients: 475g plain flour 15g baking powder Salt 1 pinch English mustard powder 115g butter, diced 150ml milk 5 eggs 90g Parmesan, grated 115g cheddar, grated Instructions: Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Place the flour, baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, mustard powder and diced butter in a large bowl. Mix the ingredients with your fingers to form a breadcrumb texture.Gradually add the milk, followed by 4 of the 5 eggs and both the grated Parmesan and cheddar cheeses. Mix just enough to combine into a dough.On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 2cm thick sheet. Cut 20 scones out using a pastry cutter with a crinkled edge.Whisk the remaining egg, brush the scones with the egg wash and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Place on a lightly greased baking tray that has been dusted with flour and cook for 10 minutes until golden and risen. Serve while still warm../li> Recipe courtesy of www.greatbritishchefs.com