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Russian Blinis

I reckon blinis are one of the better culinary delights of Russia. You can buy mini blinis ready made in the supermarket, but I have to say, made from scratch, these light and fluffy buckweat pancakes are TOTALLY worth the effort. Eat with smoked salmon and soured cream, and if you’re feeling decadent, a little caviar and champagne! If you’ve any left over, just wrap them in foil and reheat them for breakfast – they taste great with scrambled eggs and crispy bacon …

Ingredients

for about 20 blinis
  • 100g strong white flour (can use just plain flour if you like)
  • 40g buckwheat or wholemeal flour
  • 7g pack of dried yeast
  • 150 ml full-fat milk
  • 2 large, free range eggs, separated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100ml soured cream
  • 25g melted butter
 

Nutrition

Method

  1. In a large bowl, sift the buckwheat flour, plain flour and salt together and sprinkle over the yeast.
  2. Warm the soured cream and milk in a saucepan so that it is just lukewarm. Whisk the egg yolks into the milk mixture and then pour over the flour. Beat together until you have a thick batter. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour, until the batter turns spongy and bubbly on the surface.
  3. After 1 hour, take a clean bowl and whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. gently fold them into the batter. Cover again and leave for 30 minutes or so.
  4. Add a little melted butter to a heavy-based frying pan or pancake pan, over a medium heat. Spoon in about four tablespoons of batter to form a four blinis (depending on the size of your frying pan, of course!).
  5. Cook until small air bubbles begin to appear, for about one minute, then flip over to cook on the other side for a further minute or so. Transfer to a wire rack, and repeat until you have used all the mixture. Either eat immediately, or wrap in foil to reheat in the oven when required. Serve with a little smoked salmon, a dollop of soured cream, and perhaps some caviar, a squeeze of lemon, and a sprinkling of cayenne pepper.

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