At New Year’s Eve, there are few things more special than Blini with Caviar and Crème Fraîche. Simply delicious and uplifting. If your budget doesn’t accommodate expensive caviar, don’t be embarrassed to serve salmon, trout or lumpfish roe, sold inexpensively in most supermarkets. Pairs perfectly with chilled vodka or Champagne.
- 1/4 Cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 Cup buckwheat flour (use more whole wheat flour if buckwheat is unavailable)
- 2 Cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 Cup warm water
- 1 Cup milk
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons. unsalted butter, melted
- vegetable oil for frying
- 4 to 6 ounces caviar, such as beluga, osetra or sevruga
- 1 pint creme fraiche
- minced chives for garnish, optional
- In a small bowl, make a sponge by combining the whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour, 1 cup of the all-purpose flour, the yeast, sugar and warm water; stir until blended. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, scald the milk by cooking it to just under a boil. Let cool to room temperature and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and salt until light in texture and color, then gradually whisk in the butter until smooth. Stir in the scalded milk, then stir in the remaining 1 cup all-purpose flour until smooth. Fold in the sponge until the batter is smooth. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place to rise, 30 to 40 minutes.
- In a large copper or other mixing bowl, using a whisk, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. (When the whisk is lifted out of the bowl and inverted, the whites on the end of the whisk should remain upright, with just a slight bend at the tip.) Using a spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter and let stand for 10 to 12 minutes.
- In a large nonstick fry pan or griddle over medium heat, warm just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Using a tablespoon, drop the batter onto the pan (1 Tablespoon batter will make a blini 3 inches in diameter).
- Cook 3 to 5 blini at a time; do not crowd the pan. Cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- When slightly cooled, spoon a dollop of creme fraiche on each blini, top with 1/2 teaspoon caviar and garnish with minced chives, if desired.
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