Andrew Mobbs (mobbsy) wrote,
Andrew Mobbs
mobbsy

I had a Cunning Plan of cooking blini, to go with smoked salmon, Créme fraîche and chives. There seem to be a large number of differing recipes on the web, so I made a guess at what looked reasonable and now I'll add to the confusion and present my own.

Ingredients:
(some) Buckwheat flour (can be found in specialist shops or health food stores)
(some) Plain flour
2tsp Baking yeast
1tsp Honey (I mean one teaspoon with a large amount of honey glooped over it, not 5ml).
1.5 small mugs of milk (300ml or so?)
pinch of salt (just because all real recipes include a pinch of salt. I didn't use it.)
3 large eggs

Time: About 1½ hours

Method:
Dissolve honey in about 100ml of warm water, stir in yeast, leave to activate while looking up rest of the recipe on the web, welcoming the first guests, and opening a bottle of wine.

Add (some) buckwheat flour and (some) plain flour to a mixing bowl. I think I used about 3 rounded tablespoons of each, but by this point I'd given up on paying attention to quantities. Add yeast mixture. Warm one small mug (200ml I think) of milk to 40°C, mix into flour, realise that though the batter is meant to be thick, it shouldn't be that thick. Warm the other half mug and add that, stir again, decide that looks more or less OK.

Leave batter in a nice warm place for about an hour for the yeast to do its magic.

Separate eggs, put the yolks in the fridge to do something or other with when you get around to it. Whip whites, the proper recipes say things like "until it forms soft peaks", which more or less makes sense. Fold the whipped eggwhite into the batter, which should by now be quite foamy anyway.

The recipes say "take a thick based frying pan, oil lightly and heat until very hot". Try this with nice thick-based sauté pan, carefully spoon about 1tbsp of batter for each blini into pan in as thick a blob as possible, fitting maybe 4 or 5 in without them merging. The first batch of blini will stick to the base of the pan and be utterly unmovable. Place thick based pan in the sink and retrieve large non-stick frying pan instead. Repeat the whole process, and realise that this is a much better idea.

When the pan is very hot, they'll only need a few seconds on each side to cook. By the time you've put in the batter for the last of the batch, the first will probably need turning. They should come out as small, thick pancakes.

I then left them to cool a bit, put a teaspoon of créme fraîche and a bit of smoked salmon on each one and sprinkled cut chives over the top. They seemed to go down quite well. I had the left-over blini for breakfast.
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