Saturday 27 July 2013

Green Herb, Cream Cheese and Beetroot Canapes

Writing blog posts has taken a bit of a back seat this school holidays while I concentrate on a variety of crafting and cooking projects. There is always a tension between time spent writing posts and time spent generating all the foodie and crafty projects expected of these pages. Cooking and baking has hogged the centre stage lately, but stay tuned as I have many crafty projects waiting to be posted.

This post is the second item to feature in my up-coming advertisement in Hazed Magazine. It's a delicious little canape perfect for entertaining guests or just treating yourselves to as a weekend treat. It's really easy to make and assemble. The little savoury pikelets, cream cheese spread and beetroot pickle can all be made in advance and the canapes assembled before guests arrive.

Green Herb, Cream Cheese and Beetroot Canapes

Green Herb Pikelets

1 cup flour
a good handful parsley and mint leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg - separated
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter - melted
1 teaspoon salt
2 T finely grated Parmesan cheese
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and Parmesan in a medium sized bowl.

Combine the milk and egg yolk in a separate bowl. 

Wash and finely chop the herbs.

Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Pour in the milk mix and chopped herbs. Gently stir with a whisk to gradually combine.
When nearly combined add the melted butter and stir until all ingredients are incorporated. 
Using a spatula fold in the whisked egg whites. Start with a third of the whites, then fold in the remainder. 

This lightens the mixture making the pikelets softer and more aerated.
Cook in teaspoon lots on a hot buttered griddle or non-stick frying pan.
Beetroot Pickle
3 fresh beetroot
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 whole star anise
1/4 cup wine vinegar
Peel and grate the raw beetroot. 
Put it and the remaining ingredients into a medium sized saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally until the beetroot has softened and the liquid all but evaporated.
Allow to cool before assembling the canapes. 

The pickle can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Cream Cheese Spread
1 250g tub of cream cheese
I teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grainy mustard
1 heaped tablespoon mayonnaise
the juice of 1 lemon

Soften the cream cheese and beat with the remainder of ingredients until smooth. This mixture needs to be at room temperature in order to neatly assemble the canapes. If you make it ahead of time, store in the fridge but allow time to soften and whip again before using.

Make the canapes mass-production style by laying out all the pikelets, topping them all with a modest teaspoon of cream cheese filling, then garnishing with the beetroot pickle. A sprinkle of chopped parsley also looks nice.                                                                                                                                                                                    Assemble the canapes on a chopping board before transferring to a pretty serving plate. A serviette, either paper or linen, used to line the serving dish will stop the canapes from sliding on the serving plate as they are being handed around. Your guests will love these bright, cheerful and tasty nibbles. 
Thanks to Jen from Utterly in Love for this very cute photo.

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