Blini are a traditional Russian pancake that are used to carry any number of savoury toppings.
Technically a Blini is made with buckwheat flour but this recipe from Anna Olsen uses plain (all-purpose) flour and baking powder that makes the blini extra light. Adding melted butter makes them nice and rich and beaten egg whites make them soft and fluffy. Anna has taken this recipe a step further by adding chives and lemon zest which is subtle yet marries with any number of savoury toppings.
These extra light, fluffy mini pancakes are among our top holiday foods to prepare ahead and freeze for the holidays. They freeze like a dream, they’re very economical, super easy to make and can be loaded up with dozens of different toppings.
Perfect finger food when having a drink as you can make or thaw a pile, and place your toppings in some gorgeous bowls and allow your guests to help themselves. Too easy!
What we loved about this recipe is Anna’s use of baking powder and beaten egg whites which results in a really lovely soft texture. Having test-driven numerous recipes this is a firm favourite and we particularly love that there’s no yeast in this recipe. We know yeast cookery brings many unstuck so the fact you can just whip a batch up without needing to prove the dough was a big plus.😃
At a Glance This Is What You Need To Make Blini
plain flour (all-purpose)
Why Beat The Egg Whites
Beating egg whites traps air into the whites. The protein in the egg whites seals around pockets of air, creating bubbles.
When the batter hits the heat of your pan the air bubbles expand creating an airy, almost souffle like texture. 👍
Hot Tip # 1
Blini batter needs to me made just before cooking as the egg whites which makes them light and airy is full of hundreds of tiny air bubbles.
If you allow some time before cooking the batter the air bubbles collapse and the batter will end up flat, rather than light and airy! Simple!
These little blinis can be topped with a variety of toppings. Save time and let your guests pop their own toppings on. Here are some topping suggestions that we both like to serve.
- Chicken Liver Pate with Orange with caramelised onions
- Smoked Mackerel Pate
- Smoked Salmon Pate with Quick Pickled Cucumbers
- Avocado Cream with Crabmeat
- Smoked Salmon With Cream Cheese Mixed With Fine Cut Red Onions, Lemon Juice, Capers And Chives
- Salmon Roe or Lumpfish Roe With Creme Fraiche Spiked With Horseradish
- Beetroot Dip With Quail Eggs
- Chargrilled Bell Peppers with Garlic and Anchovies
- Avocado And Prawns (Shrimp)
- Goats Cheese With Cranberry Sauce
- Smoked Oysters With Cream Cheese And A Dash Of Tabasco
Can Blini Be Prepared In Advance
Blini can be made a day or two in advance and kept refrigerated. Store in an airtight container with a paper towel between each layer. Remove from refrigerator about an hour or so before serving. You can pop them in a single layer on an oven tray and warm them in a preheated 150c (300f) oven for 5-8 minutes, or serve them at room temperature.
Hot Tip # 2
Once blini are cooked place them on a cake rack to cool completely. Dont stack the blini when hot or they flatten and lose their lovely airiness.
Watchpoint For Cooking Blini
Getting your frypan heat just right when cooking the blini can be a little trial and error. It’s a lot like cooking piklets, the first one may not come out just right as the heat of the pan is either too hot, or too cool. We suggest you test drive a small amount of the batter till you’re happy with the result.
Watch How To Make Blini
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Look For Little Bubbles
You’ll know when your pan heat is just right when the batter turns opaque and little bubbles appear on the top of the blini.
The little bubbles are caused by the release of gas which is from the use of baking powder that is the chemical leavening agent in the recipe which makes the blini nice and fluffy.
Can You Freeze Blini
Blini freeze like a dream. They’re perfect for making ahead and freezing till you’re ready to serve them. Place blini in a single layer on a baking sheet that will fit in your freezer. Freeze and then cover with plastic wrap in stacks of a dozen or so. When you’re ready to use them remove stacks from the freezer and allow them to thaw on the kitchen bench whilst still wrapped.
Don’t forget to rate this recipe and let us know what you thought when you make these fabulous Blini in the reviews below.
These little savoury blini make a tender, fluffy base for a savoury topping.
Make and freeze ahead for the holidays.
Recipe by Anna Olsen
DRY INGREDIENTS -
- 1 cup plain flour 150 gm / 5 ounces (all purpose flour)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted 60g / 2 ounces plus a little extra for greasing the frypan
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
MEDIUM PEAK EGG WHITES
- 4 large egg whites
- in a bowl combine the dry ingredients - flour, chives, zest, baking powder and salt
- whisk the milk, butter, lemon juice and egg yolks together and add to the flour mixture till combined
- in a separate bowl whisk the egg whites on high speed until they hold a medium peak
- add beaten whites to the mixture and gently fold in quickly - see note
- heat a non stick frypan over medium heat and grease lightly with a little butter - see note
- drop small scoops or spoonfuls of batter onto the pan and cook for about 90 seconds on each side (watch for small bubbles)
- transfer blini onto a cake rack in a single layer
- serve, store or freeze till ready to use
- once egg whites have been folded through the batter cook straight away or the air bubbles in the egg whites will collapse resulting in a flat blini rather than a nice light and fluffy blini
- use paper towel to remove excess butter from the pan
Amount Per Serving Calories 34Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 19mgSodium 84mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 1g
Nutritional information provided here is only intended as a guide.