Blini, one of Russian’s traditional delicacies, date back to the pagan time before Christianity was introduced. Made from wheat or buckwheat flour and fermented milk, blini resemble regular pancakes or crepes. Russians eat them all the time, but especially during the Maslenitsa celebration at the end of freezing winter to welcome the spring and the sun. Blini are also had when a baby is just born and when someone passes on. The round shape of the blini and the yellowish color symbolize the prosperity, hope, and health brought by the sun.
Traditionally, Russians eat blini just like regular pancakes; with toppings, whether sweet or savory. The popular sweet toppings are honey, fruit jams, fermented fruits, melted chocolate, and ice cream. While the savory toppings are usually smoked salmon, caviar, cottage cheese, and butter. They also love thin blini eaten like burritos with fillings. However, as time passes by, there are more and more innovations of blini and new tweaked recipes of them. Let us check them out and make your breakfast special and different this time.
1. Blini Cake with Yogurt Jelly and Fresh Berries
Yum yum yum. Even the sound of it already tastes sweet. This is basically a stack of blini with yogurt jelly between every two layers of them. Make the blini bigger than the usual, around 20-22cm in diameter, so the cake look will come out. Here are the ingredients you need to make the blini base:
- 150 grams wheat flour
- 500 ml milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 15 grams butter
These are the ingredients for the yogurt jelly:
- 500 ml greek yogurt
- 250 ml cream cheese
- 15 grams gelatin
- 100 grams caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 125 grams raspberry
- 150 ml milk
Here’s how you make the cake:
1. Make the blini – Sieve half of the flour into a bowl, whisk in the eggs with a fork until well mixed. Add in the salt, sugar, and 1/3 of the milk, and then mix well. Add in the remaining flour, and mix through. Pour in the remaining milk and mix until you get a nice, smooth batter. Melt the butter and mix into the batter. Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Cook the blini the usual way – like pancakes – and then set them aside to cool.
2. Prepare the yogurt jelly – While waiting for the blini to cool, you mix together the yogurt, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Pour the milk over the gelatin until it rises, and then heat it to dissolve. Don’t let it boil! Remove from fire, then add in the yogurt mixture bit by bit until all get well combined and smooth. Add in the berries and mix evenly.
3. Arrange the cake – This is supposed to be simple, just like how you would cream a cake. Yogurt between two blini, and around the pile. Once you are done, refrigerate the cake to be eaten the next morning. Not only for breakfast, this variation of blini is also great for dessert.
2. Potato Blini with Salsa
This different kind of blini is surely heavier than the regular one, but also perfect for breakfast. Here are the ingredients for the blini:
- 200 grams potatoes, peeled
- 110 grams self-rising flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp grated lemon rind
- 180 ml milk
- 1 egg
- 100 grams butter, melted
For the salsa, you will need:
- 60 ml lemon juice
- 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 100 grams onion, chopped
- 2 grams avocado, cubed
Here are the instructions:
1. Boil, steam or microwave the potatoes until tender, and then mash them. Add in sifted flour and soda, mix them well.
2. Pour in milk, lemon rind, and egg. Stir them well until a smooth batter is made. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.
3. While waiting for the batter to develop, make the salsa. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, parsley, onion, and avocado in a bowl. Mix well.
4. Cook the blini batter like usual; in a pan with melted butter. Use the whole batter up and set them aside.
5. Arrange the blini on a large plate and top them with the salsa. Ready to eat!
This recipe of blini doesn’t take a long time to be prepared, just ideal for breakfast at home. The traditional blini recipe that uses wheat or buckwheat flour and yeast takes 30 minutes even overnight for the batter to rise.
3. Blini with Sweet Cheese and Raisins
Just enough sweetness to kick-start your day. For this version of blini, you can put away the baking soda to get the thin, crepes-like blini. For the batter, you can use the ingredients like the ones in the blini cake. Same instructions for cooking them up, too. As for the filling, here are what you need:
- 250 grams dry cottage cheese
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar
- 50 grams raisins
- ¼ lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
Add all of the filling ingredients in a bowl. Fold the think blini, like a burrito, and fill with the sweet cheese mixture. A tablespoon would be enough, but just suit yourself. So delicious for breakfast, accompanied with a cup of black coffee, tea, or a glass of orange juice. Just so right to start the day with.
Of course the traditional blini can never be wrong for breakfast, but every once in a while you might want to give a little twist to the recipe with the 3 innovations above. A special breakfast would help to make the rest of your day special, too!