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


1 cup crème fraîche*

1 - 2 ounce tin whitefish caviar

2” length of fresh chives


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.