Recipe: Cured Salmon Canapés with Dill Cream Cheese and Lemon

These little canapés went down really well at our Christmas party. They’re really easy to make but will impress your guests. Why? For a number of reasons. 1. Not many people cure their own salmon, but they should as both the flavour and texture is so different from what one can buy. 2. It’s delicious. Salmon, cream cheese and dill go so well together and here they are in the purest form, i.e. without anything else (like bread) competing for their attention. 3. They look pretty. Yes, we eat with our eyes too and although these are so easy to throw together they look really delicious.

If you prefer, you could of course put the salmon and cream cheese on top of a cracker or piece of rye bread, but I had quite a lot of nibbles and some were very filling so wanted some lighter options for balance. Plus eating them like this they just melt in your mouth and that’s a rather nice experience!

Cured Salmon Canapés with Dill Cream Cheese and Lemon, makes about 30-35

Cured salmon

500 g salmon fillet

3 tbsp salt

1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar

2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

Cure the salmon 48 hours before you intend to eat it. Place the salmon in a deep glass or china dish. Sprinkle the salt and sugar evenly on top of the salmon and pat it in. Add roughly chopped dill and cover with clingfilm. Put it in the fridge and place something heavy on top of the salmon (to help squeeze out the water in the fish) and leave it for 48 hours.

Once cured, pour away the water, rinse quickly in cold water and pat dry with kitchen towel. Cut into thin slices.

Dill cream cheese

340 g (large packet) full fat Philadelphia

6 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill

1 lemon, the juice

salt and pepper

Mix Philadelphia with dill in a bowl. Add lemon juice to taste. Season and mix again.

To assemble:

cured salmon

dill cream cheese

cocktail sticks

3 tbsp chopped dill

1/2 lemon, the juice

Take a slice of salmon and place a teaspoon sized dollop of the dill cream cheese in the middle. Roll it up and fasten with a cocktail stick. Place on a platter, squeeze with lemon and scatter with dill.

Brownies with dulce de leche frosting

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This frosting feels like magic. Despite the fact that it contains dulce de leche, full fat cream cheese and whipped cream it makes these dense brownies appear lighter than they are without any frosting.

Plus the killer combination of heavy chocolate and sweet but not sickly dulce de leche is just delicious! But you had probably figured that out already.

I’ve made these bad boys twice now and they went down a storm both times. At work they couldn’t believe they felt as light as they did and when I made them at a brunch for my friends in Sweden I got asked for the recipe straight away.

The idea for the combination of flavours and the frosting recipe is entirely my own creation, but I used my go-to brownie recipe courtesy of The Hummingbird Bakery. There is no point trying to come up with a perfect brownie recipe when it already exists.

Brownies, makes 18-20

Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery’s wonderful recipe.

5 eggs

500 g caster sugar

100 g cocoa

120 g plain flour

250 g melted butter

50 g roughly chopped dark chocolate 

Beat eggs and sugar fluffy and white. Add flour and cocoa, then the butter. Mix thoroughly. Fold in the nuts and chocolate and pour into a lined baking tray. Bake for 30-35 mins in 170C. Leave to cool completely.

Dulce de leche frosting, enough for one batch of brownies

200 g (half a tin) dulce de leche 

200 g Philadelphia

300 ml whipping cream

Mix dulce de leche and Philadelphia in a bowl. Whip the cream in another bowl and mix into the dulce de leche mixture. Whip the mixture with an electric mixer to make it even fluffier. Place a spoonful of the frosting on each brownie. Decorate with a dusting of cocoa. 

Creamy spinach dip

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This creamy and amazingly delicious (I dare you to step away from the dip before it’s finished!) is so incredibly easy to make you have your pre-dinner party snack sorted in minutes. But obviously it’s just as nice in front of a film or a football game on the television.

I first encountered this lovely dip at Laura and Tim’s house warming when my friend Amy and I did our best to finish the dip between the two of us. It’s just SO good!

Creamy spinach dip, serves 4-6 as a snack (or maybe just 2)

Adapted from The Food Network’s recipe.

2 tbsp butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped 

225 g full-fat cream cheese

280 g frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

grated nutmeg

salt and white pepper

Melt the butter in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the onions and soften without browning, for approx 5-8 minutes. Add the cream cheese and stir to melt and combine. Add the spinach and reduce any water. Season to taste with grated nutmeg, salt and white pepper. Serve warm with salted tortilla chips.