Blissfully Easy2Make Blinis!
Russian blinis, deliciously light buttery pillows of pure pleasure, are traditionally served with Smetana (crème fraîsche) and caviar. They are normally made with buckwheat flour and use yeast as a raising agent rather than baking powder or bicarbonate soda. This, of course, means that the batter needs a bit more pampering before you can actually cook it which many people find a bit off putting, including many of my past students.
So, to make a long story short, I came up with a blissfully quick and easy version of these rich buttery flavored blinis, or mini pancakes (see recipe) which are ideal for fuzz free entertaining and a great choice to kick-off any special occasion or celebration with a hint of festive luxury with or without the caviar!
Today, on Easter Sunday, this year a week before the Greek one, I’m hosting friends for an Easter brunch, where my home made warm and welcoming mini pancakes take center stage and tantalize our taste buds with both savory and sweet toppings.
My personal favorite topping, as seen in photograph, has a generous scoop of strained, creamy Greek yogurt mixed with freshly chopped dill and scallions to taste, topped with a slice of smoked salmon, Swedish seaweed topping (Tångkorn) or if you prefer, caviar from either Salmon, Lumpfish and Capelin roe, plus a touch of lemon.
Another savory favorite in our home which I highly recommend are blinis served with scrambled eggs, crispy grilled bacon, asparagus and cherry tomatoes and for a sweet finish, mini pancakes with sweet blueberry compote or topped with sweetened whipped cream, fresh berries drizzled with sour cherry spoon sweets and syrup!
The choices are endless so be innovative and enjoy!
Blizzfully Easy “Blinis” or mini pancakes!
100 g all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup milk
40 g melted unsalted butter
2 large eggs
Oil or melted butter for cooking
Combine flour, baking powder and pinch of salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together ¾ of the milk, melted butter and the eggs and then whisk into the flour mixture. Mix until you have a smooth batter, adding the remaining milk according to need, and set aside.
Heat a thick bottomed skillet or a blini or crepe pan over medium heat. Lightly brush pan with oil or melted butter and drop or spoon batter into hot pan and cook until tiny bubbles appear and the underside is golden brown (about 1 minute). With the help of a small spatula, flip blinis over and cook the other side until golden brown.
Once cooked, transfer blinis onto a backing rack to cool or serve immediately with toppings of your choice.
Depends on the pan using but I personally get 12 – 16 pieces using a standard size blini pan.
A little thicker batter is easier to flip than a thin one so I would suggest starting with a bit thicker batter and then once you get the hang of it, thin it out a bit!
As these blinis (mini pancakes) freeze well, make extra batches and freeze.
Always cool blinis on baking racks before freezing.
Always freeze blinis in one layer on a baking sheet and once frozen, store in a plastic bag or container.
Always re-heat blinis in one layer on a baking sheet covered with parchment or baking paper.
If making blinis earlier in the day of using, cool on baking racks and then wrap in kitchen paper, in single layers, and cover with aluminum foil. When heated they will be just like coming out of the pan!
For a special breakfast or afternoon treat for kids add a few slices of bananas on top of batter in skillet before flipping over, while cooking. Serve with more fresh fruit, yogurt or ice-cream and drizzle with honey or chocolate syrup or sauce.
Adding blueberries and/or bananas plus chopped walnuts to blinis is another great breakfast choice for both kids and grownups! Serve with yogurt, extra fresh fruit or granola and lots of Greek honey!
Adding fresh or dried herbs, chopped scallions or chives and seeds like cumin or caraway seeds to the batter will give you a different tasting blini which can be eaten on their own, with salad greens and cheese or other savory toppings of your choice.
©Chef Karitas – April 2019