Russian Blini – these bite-sized pancakes make perfect appetizers! Top with smoked salmon or caviar to add a touch of luxury to your dinner or festive table. Follow my authentic blini recipe and never go back to store bought again!
You will also love my Mini Pancakes (Silver Dollar)
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In collaboration with Attilus Caviar
Blini are a type of pancake made from wheat or sometimes buckwheat flour. Traditionally from Russia and the Ukraine, blini come in a variety of sizes and can be served in different ways.
I used the yeasted bite-sized version for my blini recipe. They take a little longer to prepare but they are incredibly delicious – perfect if you want to impress!
These cocktail pancakes are perfect for serving as appetizers – simply add your favorite toppings such as smoked salmon and caviar and serve with champagne or ice cold vodka.
How to make my Blini Recipe
Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page. Please take a look at the steps and video before attempting this recipe!
NOTE: I used rapid rise yeast (also known as “fast–acting” or “instant rise”) in this recipe – the type used in bread machines. This type of yeast is typically mixed in with the flour and doesn’t require activating first.
Combine melted butter, whole milk, cream, warm water and an egg yolk in a large bowl. It is best if all the liquid ingredients are at room temperature.
Sift flour, yeast and sugar over the liquid ingredients and then use a balloon whisk to slowly combine until you have a smooth batter.
Cover the bowl loosely with a cloth or plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm spot for 1-2 hours. The batter will have risen slightly and have bubbles over the surface after this time.
Whisk the egg white and salt with a hand mixer until soft peaks form and then gently fold into the batter.
Heat a non-stick frying pan and wipe with a little flavourless oil (you can also use clarified butter instead of oil or a cooking spray). You don’t want the pan to be greasy or full of oil, just enough so that the blini don’t stick.
Add a tablespoon of batter per pancake and cook over medium heat until bubbles form on top and the surface appears dry.
Flip over and cook on the other side until nicely coloured, this should only take a minute or so. Set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel while you use up the remaining batter. Do not stack to avoid them getting soggy. The blini can be kept at room temperature for an hour.
Serving your blini
Add a small dollop of sour cream on each little pancake and carefully top with a little caviar, or a small slice of smoked salmon. Sprinkle with finely chopped chives and serve immediately.
Can you freeze blini?
This recipe makes about 60 (!) bite-sized pancakes and you can easily freeze any cooked leftovers. Cool the blini completely then store in a container, separated by greaseproof paper.
I remember the first time I tasted caviar so distinctly. It was at a fancy dinner date with my then boyfriend (now husband), served over blini with ice-cold shots of vodka on the side. One bite and I was totally hooked!
I am quite tickled to finally recreate this sensational little canapé on the blog, several years since that memorable meal.
What does caviar taste like?
upCaviar refers only to the cured eggs of certain species of sturgeon. While other fish eggs, such as salmon and trout, are sometimes termed as ‘caviar’ they are technically roe.
Caviar has a a delicate taste that is not easy to describe. While some people refer to caviar as ‘fishy’, this is far from my experience.
Instead it has a subtle fresh aroma reminiscent of the sea and a buttery, sweet-briny flavour that fills your mouth as the small caviar grains pop.
For the blini
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter , melted
- ½ cup (120ml) water lukewarm
- ½ cup (120ml) whole milk
- ¾ cup (180ml) cream pouring / single
- 1 egg separated
- 1 ⅓ cups + 2 tbsp (200g) flour all purpose / plain
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp yeast rapid rise
- ½ tsp salt
- vegetable oil as needed
- smoked salmon
- sour cream
- chopped fresh chives
- quail eggs (see notes)
- Combine melted butter, whole milk, cream, warm water and egg yolk in a large bowl.
- Sift flour, yeast and sugar over the liquid ingredients and then use a balloon whisk to slowly combine.
- Cover the bowl loosely with a cloth or plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm spot for 1-2 hours. The batter will have risen slightly and have bubbles over the surface after this time.
- Whisk the egg white and salt with a hand mixer until soft peaks form.
- Gently fold into the batter, in batches, trying not to deflate the egg whites.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan and wipe with a little flavourless oil. Add 1 tbsp of batter per pancake and cook over medium-low heat until bubbles form on top and the surface appears dry.
- Flip over and cook on the other side until nicely coloured, this should only take a minute or so. Set aside while you use up the remaining batter.
- Add a small dollop of sour cream on each little pancake and carefully top with a little caviar, about 1/4 of a teaspoon or a small piece of smoked salmon. Sprinkle with finely chopped chives and serve immediately. A