Food & Wine

Tempting Canapes

Tempting Canapes

It’s party season and what better way to wow your guests than with a smorgasbord of beautiful, tasty canapes. We popped into canape queen and caterer to the stars, Carissa Kotzee’s kitchen and asked for some professional advice on how to master the perfect canape.

Renowned for creating visually stunning, luxurious and flavour-filled canapés, Carissa Kotzee, from Bleu Berri Concept Catering, has teased the taste buds of international celebs like Beyoncé, Jay-Z and just recently, John Legend, with her sophisticated little show-stoppers. And while she’s the first to admit there’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears that go into high profile entertaining, she says that creating a whimsical dining experience at home need not be the same.
“Entertaining at home should never be an overwhelming experience. It should be fun for everyone, even the host. If you choose to do your own catering, don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure. There are loads of things you can make that don’t involve essay recipes and a ton of ingredients, so that you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time making memories with your favourite people! These are just a handful of the easiest and tastiest treats I love to make.”


Springrolls in Mason Jars with Granadilla Sweet Chilli Glaze

Makes 12



12 cocktail size spring rolls – gentle shallow fried

pulp and seeds of 2 granadilla (or 1 small tin)

250ml sweet chilli sauce

little shot glasses or mini mason jars



Using readily available sweet chilli sauce, add the granadilla pulp and stir. Place a teaspoon of the sauce into your glass. Gently place the prepared spring roll into the sauce. Garnish with a chive.



Smoked Salmon Roses on Cucumber Cups with Lemon Crème Fraiche

Makes 12



100g smoked salmon trout

1 cucumber sliced into 1cm thick wheels

half a tub crème fraiche

zest of a lemon


black pepper



Slice the smoked salmon into 12 equal portions, and gently roll around the tip of your left index finger, this will create a rose. Place half a teaspoon of crème fraiche on a cucumber wheel, topping with your smoked salmon rose. Garnish with finely chopped chives, lemon zest and a grinding of black pepper.


Red Velvet Layer Cakelets

Makes 12


Ingredients for the cake

250g plain flour – sifted

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp. cocoa powder

110g room temp butter

300g white sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup buttermilk

2 tbsp. red food colouring

1 tsp vinegar


Ingredients for the frosting

250g cream cheese

250g mascarpone

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 cup sifted icing sugar

250ml double thick cream



Sift the flour, salt and cocoa powder together. Put to one side. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then gently beat in the 2 eggs. To the butter and sugar mixture, add the vanilla essence, buttermilk and food colouring. Gently incorporate your flour mixture into the wet mix. In a cup, add the baking powder to the vinegar, and then add this to the batter. Pour into two well-greased and lined Swiss roll pans and bake at 180 degrees for about 25 minutes or until the cake springs back to the touch. Allow to cool, using a champagne flute or small wine glass, gently press out the cake disks.

For the frosting, using a mixer, mix the cream cheese, mascarpone, vanilla essence together, gently adding the icing sugar. Gently add the cream until the frosting is at a soft peak stage. Layer the cake with the frosting and decorate with cake crumbs and shavings of dark chocolate.


Vanilla Panna Cotta with Berry Coulis

Makes 10 (150ml servings)



½ cup cold water

5 teaspoons gelatine


Allow gelatine to soften in water – about 15 min – in a bowl. Boil some water in a pot – place bowl of gelatine in water to dissolve – about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.


Berry Coulis

400g x frozen berries

½ cup of sugar


Place in a pot over medium heat. Allow fruit to soften and make a syrup with the sugar.


Cream mix

1.5l cream

1 ½ cups of sugar

3 teaspoons liquid vanilla essence or 2 flat teaspoons of vanilla powder


Dissolve sugar in cream in a pot over medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and add gelatine and vanilla. Pour into bowls/ cups and chill until set, about 4 to 6 hours. Once set, top with Berry Coulis and serve.



Mini Yorkies stuffed with Mustard Cream Cheese, Fillet Steak and Onion Jam


140g plain flour

4 eggs

200ml milk

Sunflower oil, for cooking



Heat oven to 230 degrees. Drizzle a little sunflower oil evenly into mini muffin pans and place in the oven to heat through. To make the batter, tip 140g plain flour into a bowl and beat in four eggs until smooth. Gradually add 200ml milk and carry on beating until the mix is completely lump-free. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the batter into a jug, then remove the hot tins from the oven. Carefully and evenly pour the batter into the holes. Place the tins back in the oven and leave undisturbed for 10-15 mins until the puddings have puffed up and browned.  You can now cool them and freeze for up to 1 month.


Mustard Cream Cheese

Half a tub of plain cream cheese mixed with 1 tbsp. of grainy farm style mustard.


Rare Fillet Steak

500g fillet rubbed with oil and seasoned. Grill to your desired doneness and slice thinly.



Once the mini Yorkies have cooled done, fill them with a teaspoon of mustard cream cheese and top with wafer thin slices of the fillet. Finish off with sticky onion marmalade (from Woolworths or your favourite grocer) and micro herbs.


Mediterranean Tartlets

Makes 24



400g roll of puff pastry

12 cherry tomatoes, halved, tossed in oil, salt and pepper and roasted until just soft

24 cubes of feta

onion jam (from Woolworths or your favourite grocer)

basil pesto



Roll out the puff pastry and cut 24 disks. Place into oiled mini muffin pans and bake until crisp and done. As soon as they come out of the oven, using a damp clean dish clothe, gently press the pastries down. Fill the little cups with half a teaspoon onion jam, 1 half of roasted cherry tomato. Top with a cube of feta and a ¼ teaspoon basil pesto.


Layered Lemon Curd Meringues


Ingredients for meringue

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

3 tablespoons water

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 pinch salt

2 egg whites



In a small saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, water, cream of tartar, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. With mixer on medium speed, slowly pour the hot syrup mixture over the egg whites. Turn mixer to high speed and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread over top of pie, covering filling completely. You can brown the meringue in your oven if you desire.


Ingredients for lemon curd (optional as you can always use store bought)

4 lemons, zest and juice

200g caster sugar

100g butter, cut into cubes

3 whole eggs, plus 1 egg yolk



Put the lemon zest and juice, the sugar and the butter into a heatproof bowl. Sit the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl. Stir the mixture every now and again until all of the butter has melted. Lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolk and stir them into the lemon mixture. Whisk until all of the ingredients are well combined, then leave to cook for 10-13 minutes, stirring every now and again, until the mixture is creamy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the lemon curd from the heat and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally as it cools. Once cooled, spoon the lemon curd into sterilised jars and seal. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.


Ingredients for biscuit crumble

1 x packet of crushed coconut flavoured biscuits

100g x melted butter

Mix together loosely.


To assemble

Using double shot glasses, martini glasses, champagne flutes, whatever you have on hand, start with a layer of biscuit crumble, then a dollop of curd, meringue, continue until the glass is full. Decorate with freshly zested lemon.


Lamb Kofta with Cucumber Raita


Ingredients for lamb

1kg lamb mince

1 small onion, fine chopped

2 crushed garlic cloves,

1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 teaspoons paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons jeera powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

2 whole egg



Place all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and combine well. Shape small handfuls of the mince into 16 to 18 “sausages” and thread onto soaked sosatie sticks. Braai or pan fry until done, or sear in a pan and finish in the oven.



Ingredients for cucumber raita

1 large cucumber, remove the seeds and grate coarsely

500ml double thick yoghurt – plain

2 garlic cloves, crushed

about half a bunch of finely chopped mint

1 teaspoon jeera powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

a pinch of cayenne

salt and pepper



Squeeze all the excess liquid from the cucumber. Mix all the ingredients together and, if possible, leave to infuse for an hour or more.


To assemble

You can serve the lamb kofta on microwaved poppadums, and garnish with spoonfuls of the cucumber raita.


Ciabatta Toasties with Mascarpone, Preserved Figs, Strawberries and Balsamic Glaze

Makes 20



20 slices thinly sliced ciabatta (Baguette or even ready prepared Melba toast is quite fine)

1 tub mascarpone

5 strawberries

5 preserved figs in syrup

balsamic glaze



Gently brush ciabatta slices with a little olive oil and bake in a preheat 180 degree oven, until crisp and lightly browned – about 10 minutes. Once cooled, using the back of a teaspoon, swipe a dollop of mascarpone onto the toast, top with a slice of strawberry and a slice of preserved fig. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and garnish with micro basil.



Grilled Chicken Sosaties with Butter Curry Sauce


Ingredients for chicken sosaties

1kg chicken breast cut into strips

15 pre-soaked sosatie sticks



Thread chicken strips onto the skewers, season with salt, pepper, paprika. Grill on the braai or pan fry


Ingredients for butter curry cream sauce

half cup plain yoghurt

1 teaspoon crushed garlic

1 teaspoon crushed ginger

half an onion, finely chopped

4 teaspoons medium curry powder

2 table spoons oil

2 table spoons butter

250ml cream

100ml yoghurt

3 – 4 tablespoon tomato puree

100ml chicken stock

salt and pepper



Heat oil and butter in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger and spices. Cook until softened. Add tomato puree and chicken stock. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in cream and yoghurt. Simmer for a further 5 minutes or until heated through. Drizzle over the chicken sosaties, garnish with roasted peanuts and fresh coriander.



Bleu Berri Concept Catering is based at Royal Durban Golf Club, where they manage and cater all onsite eventing and functions – from Golf Days to Corporate Functions to Beautiful Weddings. Visit or contact Carissa on 084 8000 111 or e-mail



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