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Easy Blini


Blini were the first buckwheat pancakes I cooked.  They originate from Russia, where they are associated with the beginning of Lent; they have now become a popular party canapé in the West, where they are more often associated with Christmas.  The original recipe I tried was a traditional recipe using yeast, which involved leaving the batter to rise in a warm place for two, one hour, periods; I have since tried various simpler recipes using baking powder as a raising agent which give very satisfactory results.

Buckwheat Blini


(Makes about 30 cocktail blini)

  • 85g buckwheat flour

  • 1tsp gluten free baking powder

  • 150ml milk

  • 1 egg (separated)

  • pinch of salt

  • butter or rapeseed oil for cooking


  1. Put flour and baking powder and a pinch of salt in large mixing bowl, make a well in the centre and add the egg yolk and half of the milk.  Mix together, gradually adding the rest of the milk until you have a thick smooth batter.

  2. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff

  3. Fold the egg white into the batter, and leave to stand for up to an hour

  4. Heat a heavy based griddle, or frying pan (I cook mine directly on the simmering plate of my AGA)

  5. Lightly grease the pan with butter or oil and drop either teaspoons or tablespoons of batter onto the pan (depending on whether you want cocktail blini, or something more substantial for a starter), when bubbles start to rise to the surface and the undersides are lightly browned, flip the blini using a spatula, and lightly brown on the other side.

  6. Transfer the cooked blini to a warmed plate, or cooling rack, depending on whether you want to serve them straight away or you are getting ahead.


Cooked blini may be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days in the fridge, or for a longer period in the freezer.

They should be served warm, or at room temperature, with a topping of your choice.

Traditional toppings are a blob of sour cream, or crème fraiche, finished with smoked salmon or caviar, and a sprig of dill, but beetroot cream and garlic mushrooms work well as a vegetarian alternative, or whatever you fancy.

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