How to design your own canapés at home.

Canapés frighten people. Not the eating of them mind, but the creating the and cooking of them. To some extent you can understand this; the best and most sophisticated canapés really are tiny pieces of culinary edible sculpture. But if you want to have a go at putting on a canapé party have a go at designing your own canapés. Keep things simple for your first attempt and maybe you’ll gain the confidence to try more elaborate ones in the future.

Here at Just Catering, we have years of experience helping our clients lay on excellent canapé evenings. I get very, very excited about canapés and are delighted when our clients compliment us on how good they are. They are so popular we will be updating our website to reflect the diverse range in our new canapé menu.

So if you’re planning on making homemade canapés for Christmas, gluten free canapés or vegan canapés, follow my three steps below for the perfect canapé party. Once you know the steps you can mix and match your flavours in order to create different dishes.

  • The Filling

I know you think that I should start with the base of the canapé, but honestly, its so much easier if you think about the flavour first. Think about your favourite dishes and draw your inspiration from them.

For my example here I’ve drawn inspiration from one of my favourite flavour combinations, salmon and cream cheese. Some recipes require cooking and baking, but I started out creating canapés that are more an assembly job; its easier when you’re trying to learn what to do early on. I used a herb and garlic cream cheese. I then rolled a strip of smoked salmon and placed it on the top.

  • The Base

One of the essential elements of canapés is that they are quick to eat and can be held with one hand without all the bits falling off. No one wants to be in the middle of a deep conversation at a function, dressed to the nines, only to realise their caviar is doing the backstroke in their glass of bubbly!

I have seen some canapés that use lettuce leaf for their base, making little cups. Be careful that they are crisp and there isn’t too much filling. Personally I tend to go for carbohydrate based bases, such as bruschetta. Here I have used a French baguette. It’s cost effective and means you don’t get filling everywhere. I sliced rings of baguette and lightly fried them in rapeseed oil to give them a nice colour.

  • The Look

You may have the best tasting canapé in the world, but if they don’t look good no one will want to eat them. Even a tiny sprig of herbs can make the difference and make your canapés more inviting. Here, I used thin slices of cucumber. The green colour complements the other ingredients, while the crunch and refreshing taste create a nice contrast.

Have a go constructing your own canapés. Let us see your final creations, we would love to know how you got on. Happy canapé making!