Pinch Food Design chef Bob Spiegel loves to rethink classic combinations, like this architectural take on blini and caviar. This recipe makes more blini than you'll need, but extras are great with smoked salmon.
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1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 cups milk, plus more as needed
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for brushing
1 1/2 cups crème fraîche
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
1 1/2 ounces caviar
How to Make It
In a bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk in the 1 1/2 cups of milk and the egg. Add both flours and the salt and whisk until smooth, then whisk in the 4 tablespoons of melted butter. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
Set a 10-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat and brush with butter. Pour in a scant 1/3 cup of the batter and swirl to coat the pan. Cook the blini until tiny bubbles form on the surface and the bottom is browned, 2 minutes. Carefully flip the blini and cook until the bottom is lightly browned in spots, 30 seconds. Transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining batter, buttering the pan and whisking in 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk to thin the batter as needed. You should have about 13 blini. Let cool slightly.
In a bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the crème fraîche until stiff. Spread a thin layer of crème fraîche on 8 or 9 blini and stack them; top with a plain blini. Trim off the rounded edges of the stack and cut into 1-inch squares. Dip a layered side of each square into the chives and set them on a platter. Dollop caviar on top and serve.
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