How to make and serve perfect canapés

We spoke to the co-founder of catering company Rocket Food — twice winners of Country Life's Canapé of the Year awards — to get tips and recipes on how to serve delicious mouthfuls at your parties over the festive season.

‘Who doesn’t have fond memories conspiring with new and old friends on how to best position yourself to catch the whirling trays of delicious morsels?’ says Caroline Hall, co-founder of Rocket Food.

‘Canapés are really important and can often determine the kind of event or moment it is going to be,’ she adds.

Rocket have been supplying canapés for everything from corporate events to Christmas parties since Caroline founded the firm in the year 2000 with her brother, Michael Symonds. And they know what they’re doing: they won Country Life’s Canapé of the Year competition in 2017 and 2018.

Caroline’s Croustade of Eggs Benedict canapé.

You’ll need serious technical skills — not to mention time — to put together some of Rocket’s more complicated morsels, and with that in mind the company recently started an offshoot called Pocket Rocket, through which they can deliver pre-prepared boxes of canapés to take the stress out of entertaining.

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If you do fancy giving it a go yourself, Caroline shared her tips

How to make and serve perfect canapés

  • Always serve your canapés at room temperature.
  • Don’t ever leave a single canapé on a tray. Ensure your trays look bountiful.
  • There is elegance in simplicity. Do not overdo it with the presentation.
  • Odd numbers always look best on a tray.
  • Get creative with your canapés, from beautiful toppings to chic and seasonal trays.

Three failsafe canapé recipes

Prawn and Prosciutto Spiedino


  • Prosciutto
  • Prawns
  • Lemon Thyme
  • 4 lemons
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Small skewers

For the lemon purée

  • 4 Lemons
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • Pinch of salt


Grill prawns and season. Then chill on a bed of lemon thyme to absorb the flavour.

Wrap prawn in the prosciutto and skewer through.

To make the lemon purée, peel then juice the lemons and pass the juice through a sieve. Then take the peel with the honey and cup of water in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer until peel is tender, then blitz with the lemon juice and salt until smooth.

Finally, garnish the canapé with the lemon purée and basil cress.

Bresaola, balsamic pearls and rosemary mascarpone


  • Balsamic Pearls
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Frying oil
  • 100g Mascarpone
  • 50g goats curd
  • 50g cream cheese
  • Sourdough Bread
  • Salt & Black Pepper


Pick and fry the rosemary until crispy, then drain on paper towel. Put half of it aside to use as garnish.

Mix 100g mascarpone, 50g goat’s curd, 50g cream cheese and black pepper. Finely chop the other half of the crispy rosemary, then fold it through and season to taste.

Slice sourdough bread about 5-7mm thick, break into 5cm diameter croutes, then toast in 180 degree oven with extra virgin olive oil and salt.

Garnish with balsamic pearls and crispy rosemary.

Jerk spiced skewers

Ingredients (makes 10)

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 Clove garlic
  • ½ tspn cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp pink pepper
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • pineapple
  • lime
  • stock syrup
  • skewers
  • Coriander cress for garnish


Clean the chicken, marinate it in the spices, then char grill on high heat and rest on a herb tray.

Peel and dice the pineapple and marinate in the spices. Grill on high all over, then roast at 180 degrees C until soft but not falling apart. Put half aside for the skewers, then blitz and pass the other half into a puree. Check you’re happy with the seasoning and then put it into piping bags.

Peel the lime, removing all the pith, then Julienne the peel and blanch in water for 1-2 mins. Chill it down and boil in stock syrup, reducing slightly until you have candied lime.

Place a cube of the cooked chicken onto a skewer, followed with a piece of pineapple, then finally another cube of chicken. Pipe a touch of the pineapple purée onto it, then garnish with the candied lime and coriander cress.