My friends and family will tell you that I love receiving foodie gifts, particularly new and interesting products that I have not seen before, and a few weeks ago my parents returned from a weekend away with two such items – large tortilla baskets and smaller canapé shells from a local company called Kari Foods. Today I am going to show you how to make happiness in a mouthful with two recipes that I created using the canapé shells.

Before I tackled the small canapé shells I tried out the larger tortilla shells and added a chilli con carne inspired filling topped with salsa and cheese and grilled in the oven, it made for a very tasty dinner. While I was keen to try this idea for the smaller canapé shells I had visions of chilli con carne dripping out as soon as I took a bite – and this is when I had the idea of making a canapé friendly chilli con carne meatball instead.This is served with sour cream, a dollop of tomato chilli jam and fresh coriander. 

The canapé shells contain no sugar but can be used for sweet applications as well as savoury. I decided to dip them in dark chocolate and then fill them with a dark chocolate and Amarula ganache. I then topped them with crushed amaretti biscuits to add a different flavour and some more crunch. If you don’t have amaretti biscuits I’m sure ginger or toffee biscuits would also work brilliantly! I won’t tell you how many of these I polished off… too many.  


Makes 25 canapés 

For the meatballs:

1 small red onion, chopped

1 tsp crushed garlic

a large pinch of chilli flakes

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp dried thyme

280g lean beef mince


black pepper

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 x 400g tin red kidney beans, drained


To cook and assemble:

vegetable oil for frying

25 canapé shells 

125ml sour cream

120ml tomato chilli jam

fresh coriander leaves to serve

Step 1.) Pop all the meatball ingredients into a food processor and blitz until well mixed and the beans have broken down slightly. (I tend to avoid over-processing the mixture as I like some texture in the meatballs.) Alternatively you can mix all the ingredients in a bowl with your hands, simply chop the onions finely and mash the beans separately before adding them to the rest of the ingredients. 

Step 2.) Heat a layer of vegetable oil in a frying pan, then cook the meatballs until they are very brown on all sides and cooked through. It will be easier to do this in two or three batches depending on how large your frying pan is. 

Step 3.) Pop the meatballs on some kitchen towel. Next, fill each canapé shell with a teaspoon of sour cream and pop one meatball in each. Top with about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of tomato chilli jam, sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve immediately. 



Makes 30 tartlets

75g dark chocolate for dipping

30 canapé shells  

300g dark chocolate, chopped

250ml double cream

30ml Amarula Cream

15 amaretti biscuits

icing sugar to serve 


Step 1.) Melt the 75g dark chocolate in the microwave on a low heat. Carefully dip the top edge of each canapé shell in the chocolate, shake off any excess chocolate and set aside on a tray to dry and set. 

Step 2.) Place the chopped dark chocolate in a bowl. Bring the double cream to the boil in a saucepan, then remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Whisk until you have a smooth, glossy mixture. Resist the urge to dive face first into the bowl, and whisk in the Amarula Cream. 

Step 3.) Divide the chocolate mixture between the canapé shells (about a tablespoon in each) and set aside for 1 – 2 hours at room temperature to set. 

Note: Setting the chocolate at room temperature will give you a softer, creamier set and will help to retain that gorgeous glossiness. For a quicker, firmer set you can chill the canapés in the fridge, but they will lose their shiny appearance.

Step 4.) Place the amaretti biscuits in a sandwich bag and crush with a rolling pin. I like to have a mixture of fine crumbs and slightly larger chunks. Top each canapé with a small pile of amaretti crumbs, dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.




About The Author

In a nutshell, I'm a foodie, Mom, home-maker and blogger - and I'm passionate about good food! My love for all things culinary began in childhood as I grew up with two grandmothers and a Mom who made just about everything from scratch. After school I went on to study Food & Nutrition and opened my own small business producing handmade food products for an upmarket food store in Cape Town. Five years later I decided to sell the business to pursue my other passion - travel! After spending nearly four years abroad I returned to Cape Town and took up a position as a Product Developer, which I did until I had my daughter two years later. I look forward to sharing my favourite recipes and other foodie ramblings with the Spice 4 Life community!

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