Bularian Canapes (Blini)

If there is a better way to soften the hearts of passing Admirals than serving Bularian canapes, I’d like to know what it is. In particular, if you are Jean-Luc Picard and you have Admiral Nechayev coming on board, you could do far worse than ordering up a plate of these (TNG: Journey’s End). I think these canapes are perfect for discussions and negotiations: small enough that you can pop one in your mouth without interruption, the great canape base can be used for a variety of toppings certain to please any alien race and they are sturdy enough to avoid any embarrassing spills down the front of uniforms. 

I decided that the best way to make Bularian canapes was to use a blini recipe. Blini get their earthy flavour from the buckwheat flour used in the batter and they make a great base for a variety of toppings. I do completely understand Admiral Nechayev is so fond of these, as they are really tasty and it is very easy to eat lots of them! I used salmon and sour cream as toppings for my blini, but you could use whatever you like - some suggestions are grilled or pickled vegetables, peas and fetta, pesto with a slice of tomato, small pieces of bbq chicken with some chutney - and of course caviar is traditional. 

Replicate your own
(Makes 40-50 small blini)
(Based on this recipe)

100g / 3.5oz buckwheat flour
75g / 2.6oz plain flour
7g / 0.2oz / 1 sachet dried yeast
170ml / 5.7 fl oz milk
1 teaspoon honey
50g / 18oz butter, chopped 
120ml / 4 fl oz buttermilk
2 eggs, separated
Toppings for your canapes: I used sour cream, tea-cured salmon, watercress and samphire.

You will need to start at least one hour before you want to serve these. 

Start by stirring the flours and yeast together in a bowl and set aside. Separate your eggs and put the egg whites to one side for now. 

Add the milk, honey and 20g/1 oz of the butter to a small saucepan, and heat gently until the butter is melted and the honey is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool if needed, before adding the buttermilk and the egg yolks. Whisk to combine. 

Add the milk mixture to the flour and stir or whisk it until you have a thick batter (like pancake batter). Cover the bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and stand it in a warm place to prove for an hour. 

After the hour is up, your mixture should be bubbly and risen. Whisk the two egg whites until soft peaks form, then fold them gently into the dough mixture. Try and avoid having any large pieces of egg white in the batter.

Brush a small amount of the remaining butter onto a skillet or frying pan. Drop small spoonfuls of the mixture onto the frying pan (I was able to do 4 at a time) and cook for 2-3 minutes, bubbles appear on the top. Flip the blini and cook for a further 30 seconds - 1 minute. Remove from the frying pan, add more butter as needed and continue to cook all the blini. 

To serve, top with your choice of toppings (or lay out a selection of toppings for your guests and let them build their own!) and serve to any passing Admiral. These are best eaten the day they are cooked. 

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