Hello Everyone! I hope it’s been a good week for y’all so far. So the original inspiration for this dish was actually drawn from a dish that I had back when I was still studying in Australia – a simple dish that is packed with beautiful flavours that sing in our mouth upon every bite. The pop of citrus that you get from the fresh king salmon, the explosion of salt from the caviar, the crunch from the broccolini, and the fluffiness of the blini to just soak up all the creaminess from the maltaise sauce combined with that liquid gold – pure heaven.
Devon Café’s Eggs Blini • buckwheat blini • poached eggs • citrus cured king salmon • salmon caviar • broccolini • maltaise sauce
If I remember clearly, the first time I had this dish was also the first time I had stepped into Devon Café – one fine Sunday(?) morning I believe. I was waiting outside with Jialing for – of course – Yvonne to show up for our ‘brunch’ meet up. While waiting, I saw one of my high school friend’s brother inside the café with a group of his friends. We both displayed shocked expressions on our faces as we made eye contact and realised each other’s familiar faces. Why? Well because firstly, I hadn’t seen him since I graduated highschool, which at that time would’ve been 3-4 years ago, and secondly, he doesn’t live Sydney, he was just travelling through at that time – what a small world amirite? Anyway we talked for a bit, but I let him enjoy his Eggs Blini (yes he was having that dish) while Jialing and I continued to wait for Yvonne. If not mistaken, we had planned to meet up at 10am, but Yvonne didn’t show up until quarter to one, or even at one maybe. I can’t actually remember, but I know she was super late which is typical. Not hating on her though because Jialing and I know her so well for this to be her thing *cheeky grin* We still waited for her, though I also don’t know what Jialing and I did for 3 hours of waiting. Another one of a brunch-turned-late-lunch sessions! The wait was all worth it though for that spectacular Eggs Blini dish!
The second time I had this dish wasn’t planned at all. The initial plan was to take, my then housemate’s friend to have the BEST sandwiches ever in Sydney, but I had totally forgotten that they were closed on Sundays! So I told him that I’d take him to the next best place on my list for our brunch date – which was of course, Devon Café! I had convinced him to order the Eggs Blini because he was being very indecisive. I told him that he would not regret it – and he didn’t! I could see it in his face as he savoured and devoured each bite he took.
Remember guys, the camera ALWAYS eats first!
Alright, I apologise for the long-winded introduction, but nowadays it’s very rare that I have something to share with you guys, since I do nothing now but eat, sleep, work, repeat 6 times a week. My social life has gone down the drain, which is also my fault because I can’t be bothered to make the effort to go out. I’d much rather sit in front of the TV after work or just lay in bed waiting to fall asleep. Nevertheless! Here’s my take on Devon Café’s Eggs Blini:
PREP TIME 1 HOUR 30 MINS* | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 3
*Includes time for the buckwheat blini batter to rise and rest.
For the buckwheat blini (original recipe from The Spruce Eats)**
- 1 cup milk warm
- 2/3 cup plain flour
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 large free range egg, at room temperature, yolk and white separated
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the hollandaise sauce
- 3 large free range eggs, yolks separated
- 175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Fresh Thyme Leaves
- Ground salt and black pepper, to taste
- 3 large free range eggs
- 1/2 bunch purple kale, stemmed
- Fresh salmon, cut into 15 equal sashimi slices***
- Fresh salmon roe
- Lemon wedges, to garnish
- Micro-herbs, to garnish
**I recommend that you follow the link to learn more about what a blini is especially if this word is foreign to you.
***If you don’t possess the knife skills to do so, you can always pop by your local fish market to get lovely and readily fresh cuts of sashimi.
- Buckwheat Blini: Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl – the plain flour, buckwheat flour, salt, and instant yeast.
- Make a well in the centre and pour in the warmed milk, mixing until smooth. Cover and let rise until the mixture has doubled in size, about 1 hour. Then, stir in the cooled melted butter and the egg yolk into the batter.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white until stiff but not dry. Fold into batter and cover to stand 20 minutes.
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Drop quarter-size dollops of dough into pan without crowding. Cook for about 1 minute or until bubbles form and break. Turn and cook for about 30 seconds more. Cover blini and keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Hollandaise Sauce: While the buckwheat blini batter is underway and left to stand, start on the Hollandaise sauce. Place a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan that is quarter-filled with water. Make sure that the bowl should fit snugly into the pan without touching the water (lift the bowl to check and remove some water if it does). Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to very low so the water is barely simmering (there should be almost no movement at all). It is important that the water is barely simmering while making the sauce – if it is too hot, the egg yolks will cook too much and the sauce will curdle.
- Place the egg yolks and the 2 tablespoons of water in the heatproof bowl and place over the pan. Whisk the mixture constantly for 3 minutes or until it is thick and pale, has doubled in volume and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted.
- Add the butter a cube at a time, whisking constantly and adding another cube when the previous one is incorporated completely (about 10 minutes to add it all in). If butter is added too quickly, it won’t mix easily with the egg yolks or the sauce may lose volume. At the same time, it is important that the butter is at room temperature and added a cube at a time, so that it doesn’t take too long to be incorporated – if the sauce cooks for too long, it can curdle.
- Remove the bowl from the pan and place on a heatproof surface. The cooked sauce should have the consistency of very lightly whisked thickened cream. Whisk in the lemon juice, tom yum paste, fresh thyme leaves, and season with salt and pepper.
- Poached Eggs: Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir. Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or over – or perfect)!
- Kale: Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add salt to taste and the kale. Blanch for 3 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking, and drain. Take the blanched kale up by the handful and squeeze hard to expel excess water.
- Assembly: Lay the blini on the plate, and place the blanched kale leaves on top. Build up with the salmon sashimi slices, 5 per serving, and top with the poached egg. Drizzle a generous amount of hollandaise sauce and garnish with the salmon roe, about a teaspoon or two per serving, and micro-herbs. Squeeze with a bit of lemon juice before indulging. Enjoy!
Before I sign off, I just want to let you guys know that next week will be a little different as the recipe that I will be sharing will be in three parts. I will be posting part 1 of the recipe on Tuesday night, the main Eggs Benny recipe on Wednesday night, and another dish on what you can do with the leftovers! So get your mouths watering for three new recipes next week!
– Ally xx