Chefs share their festive recipes

Capsicum Culinary Studio shared some of their chef’s favourite festive season recipes

Salmon canapés

Chef Bradley Wright’s smoked salmon and caviar canapés


⋇1 packet of whole wheat melba toast

⋇110g smoked salmon

⋇50g caviar (black is ideal, but red is nice as well)

⋇4 heaped tablespoons cream cheese

⋇A squeeze of fresh lemon

⋇2g chives, finely sliced

⋇Salt to taste

⋇Fresh dill sprigs for garnish

⋇Extra virgin olive oil


In a small bowl, blend the cream cheese until smooth. Add lemon juice, chives and salt to taste, and mix well until well combined.

Roll the smoked salmon lengthwise and slice into 2½cm rolls.

Arrange the toasts on a serving plate and carefully distribute the cheese blend onto each toast. Place a roll of the smoked salmon on top of the cheese, then gently spoon the caviar around the salmon. Garnish with fresh dill and a very light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Chef Ayanda Gwintsa’s gammon and cranberry slaw canapés

(serves 8)


⋇ 250g cooked gammon

⋇1 – 2 baguettes, cut diagonally and lightly toasted

⋇ butter (optional)

⋇1 small green cabbage shredded

⋇1 small purple cabbage, shredded

⋇1 medium carrot grated

⋇½ red apple grated

⋇30g dried cranberries

⋇toasted flaked almonds for garnish (optional)

For the dressing:

⋇¾ cup plain yogurt (preferably double cream)

⋇¼ cup mayonnaise¼ cup cranberry sauce

⋇2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

⋇Pinch of salt and pepper to taste


Slice gammon into thin shreds and set aside

Slice French loaf into diagonal cuts, butter on both sides and toast in dry pan or toaster and set aside and allow to cool.

Grate carrots and apples and place into a bowl.

Add the remaining slaw mixture and mix together with the dressing

Place a tablespoon of gammon on each slice of the toasted bread and top with a generous amount of slaw.

Sprinkle the toasted almonds on top and serve.

Fig brie cups

Chef Ayanda Gwintsa’s fig and brie cups with rosemary bacon bits (makes 24)


⋇1 packet puff pastry

⋇2 triangles of brie cheese

⋇1 cup fig jam

⋇4 sprigs rosemary, chopped finely

⋇1 packet diced bacon

⋇pinch of sea salt


Preheat oven to 220°C

Prepare 1 (24s) or 2 (12s) cupcake trays. Use spray and cook to grease slightly

Roll out puff pastry and cut into 8 x 8cm squares

Place squares into the trays pressing slightly to create shape

Cut the brie into 2x2cm squares or larger based on preference and place inside each puff pastry square

Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt and the chopped rosemary into each cup and top with the fig jam.

Place in oven and bake for 9 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove and allow to cool before serving.

In a sauté pan fry the bacon with remaining rosemary until crispy.

Garnish baked cups with bacon mixture and enjoy.

Lamb chops

Chef Candice Cupido-Burger’s roasted lamb chops, roast potatoes and charred broccoli with lamb and mint demi glaze


⋇500g lamb chops

⋇10g butter

⋇80g baby potatoes

⋇80g broccoli

⋇3g coriander powder

⋇3g smoked paprika

⋇2 cloves garlic paste*

⋇fresh rosemary sprigs (or dried)

⋇fresh thyme (or dried)

⋇10ml olive oil

⋇Salt and pepper

For the demi glaze sauce:

⋇2 cups of lamb stock (can also use beef stock)

⋇4 – 6 mint leaves

⋇1 carrots

⋇1 celery stem

⋇1 leeks

⋇20g flour


Pre-heat oven to 180°C.

Season lamb with salt and pepper.

Add oil to a pan and when hot, add the lamb chops and cook each side for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add rosemary, thyme and butter and baste chops before placing in oven for a further 8 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10mins.

For the vegetables:

Boil baby potatoes in salted water for 10-15 minutes until soft, then remove and toss in olive oil and paprika and coriander spices.

Place onto a roasting tray and roast for 15mins until golden and crispy on the outside, and light and fluffy on the inside.

Toss the broccoli with olive oil and place under a hot grill until you get a dark colour on all sides

For extra flavour grate some parmesan cheese over the broccoli before serving.

For the demi glaze sauce:

Prep all vegetables by cutting them all equal sizes to ensure even cooking.

In a medium pot add the carrot, celery, and leek with enough oil to coat the pot and sauté for 10 minutes

Add garlic paste and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes.

Add flour until everything is coated and cook out for 5 minutes.

Add stock and mix well until everything is incorporated.

Cook sauce for 20mins until thick and rich is flavour.

Strain to ensure that only the sauce is left. Vegetables can be discarded

Put sauce back onto the heat, add chopped mint and cook for a further 5 minutes until the flavour profile is well balanced.

Serve over the lamb and enjoy.

* To turn garlic into paste, chop up finely and add a little salt. Using the side of your knife, press down and rub back and forth. The salt helps it become a paste as the salt breaks down the fibres of the garlic

A Deliciously Decadent Dessert for the Festive Season: Chef Bernice Warner’s chocolate mousse and berry trifle with flavoured cream

For the Mousse:

⋇150g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa)

⋇2 egg whites

⋇3 egg yolks

⋇55g castor sugar

⋇30g butter


Place the butter and chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pot of boiling water until melted. Allow to cool slightly before adding in the egg yolks one at a time. (Do not add egg yolks while mixture is still hot or they will cook!).

Whip the egg whites and sugar to form a stiff meringue and fold into the chocolate mixture. Fold gently so that you don’t knock out the bubbles.

For the berry compote:

⋇250g mixed fresh berries

⋇30ml fine white sugar


Put half of the berries and all the sugar in a food processor and blitz.

Roughly chop/cut the remaining berries and set aside for assembly.

For the flavoured cream:

⋇250ml whipped cream

⋇15-30ml Kahlua liqueur (or flavouring of your choice)


Fold the liqueur into the whipped cream and set aside.

For a non-alcoholic version you can flavour the cream with ground cinnamon, all spice and even citrus zest or a lemon or orange essence

To Assemble:

Use a big glass bowl or individual glasses so your guests can see the gorgeous layers.

Pour in half the chocolate mixture and follow with a later of the berry compote and a layer of the whipped cream.

Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of cream, and garnish the top with the rest of the fresh chopped red berries, a dusting of cocoa powder and a sprig of mint to complement the festive look.

Chef’s Notes: You can also add layers of chopped nuts and garnish with small edible flowers.