These are not strictly blinis which are usually made with a yeast batter, but they are so light and airy and delicate, you won’t notice the difference.
For the blini:
110g plain flour
Pinch of sea salt
2 eggs, whisked lightly
20g melted butter
2 tablespoons olive or peanut oil and a knob of butter
For the smoked salmon and cream cheese filling:
200g cream cheese, softened
10 slices of smoked salmon, cut into slivers
Basil leaves for garnish
1. Sieve the flour and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the eggs, taking in the flour from around the edges as you go. Gradually add all the milk, whisking out any lumps as you go until you have a smooth batter. Add the melted butter. Leave the batter to rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before you use it (or cover it and use it within 48 hours – it gets better the longer it sits as it ferments and the blinis will be lighter and fluffier).
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a little butter in a non-stick or cast-iron frying pan. Spoon the batter into small circles about two inches wide in the frying pan, leaving space between each one. Cook until golden brown before flipping with a knife. Cook for another 30 seconds on the other side. Use more olive oil and butter in the pan as you need it to cook the rest of the blini.
3. To make smoked salmon blinis: Spread cream cheese in a thin layer on the warm blini. Place thin slices of salmon on the cheese and decorate with a basil leaf.
Blini Recipe variations
You can make larger pancakes about the size of a small saucer with this pancake batter – serve with fried rashers, maple syrup and sour cream.
For a sweeter pancake to eat with poached fruit, add a tablespoon of caster sugar to the pancake batter.
Use any smoked fish – trout, mackerel or eel – instead of salmon.
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