Supper club has come round again – time for my old university friends to gather and catch up on the highs and lows of our lives over dinner. The hosts decide the theme of the meal and then we all prepare a course to bring along – it means no one has too much work to do.
The theme was a Great British Dinner in the wake of Royal Wedding fever sweeping the land. I was on canape duty and raring to go. I hardly ever get to make proper grown up nibbles – it’s normally a few bags of crisps, some cut up veggies and dips. But this time I had a few hours to really get stuck in.
I used seasonal British ingredients to create a simple but very tasty trio of canapes that also looked quite pretty too.
I picked up a great tip for making canape cases when I did a cookery course at Leiths a few years ago.
Instead of using pastry, you use sliced white bread. Cheap, quick and you can make them ahead until you’re ready to fill them.
Equipment wise you need a 24 hole miniature tartlet tray, a small pastry cutter and pastry brush.
Toastie canape cases (makes 24)
8 slices of white bread
Keep hold of the remnants to make into breadcrumbs and pop into the freezer for another day.
Brush each disc with the melted butter and then press firmly into the holes of the mini tartlet tray. Bake in the oven for 5-10 mins until golden and crisp.
Cool for 10 minutes and then move to wire rack to cool completely. Store in a sealed container until ready to fill.
Here are the the two fillings I made, but you can get creative and use whatever ingredients you have handy.
Pea and Mint
Cook a handful of frozen peas, drain and cool. Using a blender whizz the peas with two heaped dessert spoons of cream cheese, a tablespoon of chopped fresh mint, seasoning and a squeeze of lemon juice. Spoon the mixture into a disposable piping bag, snip off the end and pipe into your toastie cases. Garnish each canape with a tiny sprig of fresh mint.
Mascarpone, Salmon caviar and dill
Mix a 250g tub of mascarpone with a squeeze of lemon juice and some seasoning and spoon into a disposable piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe into the toastie cases. Top each canape with a trio of the pink fish eggs and a tiny sprig of dill.
The final element of my canape trio was stuffed cherry tomatoes. This is a little on the fiddly side, but hugely worthwhile for the burst of flavour you get when you pop one in your mouth!
Cherry tomatoes with cream cheese and basil
250g pack of ripe cherry tomatoes
2 tsps chopped basil
Squeeze of lemon juice
Turn each tomato upside down so the green spot is underneath, slice off the top quarter and then using the point of the knife scoop out the flesh from the larger part of the tomato.
In a bowl mix together the cream cheese, about a third of the tomato flesh, chopped basil, lemon juice and seasoning. Spoon into a disposable piping bag, snip off the end and then pipe the cheesy mixture into each tomato. Stick the lids back on and then serve.
If you have any filling left at the end of your canape creating, simply put it in a small dish and serve as a small dip.
The canapes went down a treat, and were followed by a starter of delicious goats cheese tart with pea shoots, glorious beef wellington for main and then a very regal chocolate biscuit cake. We drank Chapel Down‘s Flint Dry which was extremely fruity and a real must if you fancy an enjoyable English wine.