Crab cakes are delicious served large or small and these little mini ones make a lovely indulgent appetiser and I can’t think of a better way to kick off New Years Eve. Apart from being delicious, they are insanely easy to make with no frying involved. In fact, they can be made ahead of time and then given a quick blast on a baking sheet to crisp them back up just before serving. These crab cakes are a little different to the usual fried variety in that a panko bread crumb and herb mix is placed on the bottom of mini muffin moulds and then topped with a creamy crab mixture before being finished off with a scattering of more buttery bread crumbs. The result is a satisfying light crunch followed by creamy crab goodness. These don’t have the denseness of normal crab cakes, which in this instance I quite like, being lighter and better suited for hor d’oeuvres. A few of these crab cakes and a glass or three of Champagne and you know you’re going to be in for a great night.
Ingredients – Makes 24 mini crab cakes Adapted from Bon Appetit
230g cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
1 large egg
¼ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest
4 teaspoons plus 4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
½ teaspoon salt
Large pinch cayenne pepper
180g fresh crab meat, picked over, patted dry, coarsely shredded
1½ cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
60g butter , melted plus more for greasing the pans
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese in medium bowl until smooth. Add ¼ cup Parmesan and the egg; beat to blend. Beat in sour cream, lemon zest, 4 teaspoons chopped chives, salt, and cayenne pepper. Fold in crabmeat. Crab mixture can be made 1 day ahead and kept covered and chilled. Preheat oven to 180C. Generously butter 2 x 12 hole mini muffin pans. Toss panko, ¾ cup Parmesan, and 4 tablespoons chopped chives in small bowl. Drizzle the melted butter over, tossing with a fork until evenly moistened.
Press 1 rounded tablespoon of the panko mixture into bottom of each muffin cup, pressing in with your thumb to form a crust. Spoon 1 generous tablespoon crab mixture into each cup. Sprinkle more of the panko mixture over each. Bake crab cakes until golden on top and set, about 20-25 minutes. Cool in pans for 5 minutes. Run knife around each cake and gently lift out of pan. They can be made up to two hours ahead – arrange on a baking sheet; let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 200C oven for 6-8 minutes.