I have had more unappealing blinis in my cocktailing years than I would like to admit and I have often wondered how something so simple can go so horribly wrong but I think some of it has to do with personal taste and alot to do with freshness and quality – particularly that of the salmon.
All of this bad blini eating I have done over the decades has had a good outcome – it has prompted me to devise my own perfect blini. And I stress that this is MY perfect blini, it may not suit the taste buds of you all, but seeing as it contains most of the basic blini ingredients, if you are a blini loving person, I am certain you will love these.
The blini’s themselves are light and nicely textured with the buckwheat flour, they are scattered with some chopped spanish onion and chives that bring out the flavour in the salmon beautifully, they are then topped with some torn salmon, a dollop of crème fraîche and finally salmon roe. So basic and so very delicious.
Of course blinis are not only for the cocktailing hour, they make a wonderful addition to a breakfast or a brunch and are very well suited to a high tea. Whatever the occasion, they are impressive, easy and very nice with a glass of your finest champagne.
1 teaspoon dried yeast
¾ cup plain (all purpose) flour
¾ cup buckwheat flour
1 egg, separated
80 grams (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
¾ cup lukewarm milk
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
175 grams/6.2 ounces salmon roe
10 chives, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
226 grams/8 ounces crème fraîche or sour cream
226 grams/8 ounces smoked salmon
Combine yeast and 190 mls warm water in a large bowl and stir to dissolve, then stand in a warm place for 10 minutes or until foamy. Slowly whisk in plain flour, then cover with a clean tea towel and stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl combine buckwheat flour, raw egg yolk, 1½ tablespoons melted butter, sugar, milk and ½ teaspoon sea salt and whisk to combine, then gently fold into yeast mixture. Cover and stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until risen by half.
Whisk raw eggwhite until soft peaks form and fold through batter. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat, brush with remaining butter and cook tablespoonfuls of batter, in batches, for 1-2 minutes or until bubbles appear, then turn and cook for another minute or until cooked through. Keep warm.
Scatter a little of the chopped spanish onion and chives on the blini, top with a torn piece of smoked salmon, a dollop of crème fraîche and some salmon roe. Serve immediately
This recipe should get you around 28 medium sized blini.
Notes: You may wish to substitute the onion and chives for dill if you want a slightly different taste, it would also look quite pretty to have some torn dill scattered over the top of the blini.
© 2011, Michelle. All rights reserved.