September 12, 2010

Buckwheat & Spelt Blinis with Ginger Maple Syrup

During our trip to St Petersburg my partner and I visited the local "Maccas" a few times. Now, when I say Maccas (McDonalds), I don't quite mean what you might think... See, this fast food chain in Russia serves only blinis, the Russian buckwheat pancakes, instead of burgers and fries you would find at your local fast food shop. There is a large selection of savoury and sweet fillings available for the blinis, and one of my favourites was smoked salmon and cooked buckwheat served with a big and thin blini (almost like a crepe). This is the kind of fast food I like!

These blinis, although thicker and smaller kind, took me vividly back to the historic St Petersburg. I love using buckwheat flour and I have replaced the more common wheat flour with spelt flour which gives the batter even more flavour. The mildly sour taste and the foamy texture is made by letting the yeast to ferment the batter for a few hours. It is definitely worth the wait as these are not your average pancakes!

This time I omitted the conservative accompanies of caviar, thick sour cream and red onion and opted for a new twist with gingery maple syrup that I saw being used on this Finnish website. Such a perfect Sunday treat!

Buckwheat & Spelt Blinis with Ginger Maple Syrup

2 tsp instant dried yeast
400ml milk (lactose-free)
200ml light (lactose-free) cream (you could also use sour cream)
130g organic buckwheat flour
65g organic spelt flour
2 large free range eggs, separated
1 tsp salt
30g butter, melted

butter for frying

grated ginger and organic maple syrup, for serving

In a large bowl, combine the milk and the cream and microwave until hand-warm. Mix in the yeast and stir well. Mix in the flours and whisk lightly. Leave to ferment for at leat 3 to 4 hours in room temperature.

In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Stir in the egg yolks, melted butter and salt with the fermented flour mixture and fold in the egg whites. Cook the blinis on a hot, buttered frying pan until golden brown on both sides.

Mix a teaspoon or two of grated ginger with a good amount of maple syrup (as much as you want, really) and serve with the warm blinis.