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BUCKWHEAT BLINIS WITH CRÈME FRAÎCHE AND CAVIAR

Ingredients for 4 dozen mini-blinis or 12 -15 pancake blinis:

Blinis:

1/2 tablespoon dry active yeast

1/2 cup lukewarm water

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup lukewarm milk

1 cup unbleached flour

2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup buckwheat flour

3 egg whites, beaten

Topping;

1 cup crème fraîche*

1 - 2 ounce tin whitefish caviar

2” length of fresh chives


Directions:foldingblinis

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water.  Whisk in the milk and flour until the batter is smooth.  Cover the bowl and let stand for 1 hour.

Stir in the egg yolks, melted butter, salt and buckwheat flour.  Cover and let stand at room temperature 4 - 6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.  (If refrigerated, let batter warm to room temperature before continuing.)

Fold in beaten whites one-third at a time.  Heat a lightly oiled skillet and drop small batter by the tablespoon to form pancakes 2" in diameter or  1/2 cup amounts for pancakes. Turn them when bubbles form and brown the other side.

Top each blini with a dab of cool cream, a 1/4 teaspoon of caviar and a strip of fresh chive.  Serve warm with champagne.

* Crème Fraîche: Ingredients: 1 cup whipping cream and 1 tablespoon buttermilk Directions:  Warm cream to room temperature.  Stir in the buttermilk.  Cover and let stand overnight or until the cream has thickened noticeably.  Keep refrigerated.  Good for 3-4 weeks.