It goes without saying that we all want to be organised at Christmas so if you have unexpected visitors or you’re planning a party you’ve got something prepared ahead or something stashed in the freezer.
These festive bites are excellent to prepare ahead, even freeze and pull out when needed. Do remember that when you prepare the whipped Stilton that the blue cheese is at room temperature otherwise it will be difficult to whisk and will result in a lumpy mixture. If you do prepare ahead warm the blinis in the oven for a few minutes before piping the whipped stilton on top. The walnuts, delicious served on their own can be stored for several weeks quite happily.
Parsnip Blinis with Whipped Blue Cheese
- 300 g Parsnips
- 2 Large Eggs separated
- 20 g Butter
- a drizzle of Olive Oil
- 60 g Plain Flour
- 100 mls Milk
- 25 g Creme Fraiche
For the Whipped Blue Cheese
- 160 g Stilton must be at room temperature (or any other blue cheese)
- 60 g Full Fat Cream Cheese
- 30 g Double Cream
- a handful of chopped chives
- For the Honey Roasted Walnuts
For the Honey Roasted Walnuts
- 125 g Shelled Walnuts roughly chopped
- 170 g Honey
- a large pinch of fine sea salt
- 90 g Granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- Begin by peeling then coarsely grating the parsnip. Melt a knob of butter with the olive oil in a frying pan and add the parsnip and cook over a medium heat. Should the parsnip start to brown add a tablespoon or two of water, season with salt and pepper, cook until soft. Remove from the heat and cool.
- Place the flour into a bowl, in a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks and milk. Make a well in the flour and add half of the egg mixture and whisk vigorously until smooth. Add the other half and whisk again, then add the creme fraiche. Combine the cooled parsnip mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, fold the egg whites gently into parsnip mix trying to preserve as much of the air as you can.
- Heat a frying pan of olive oil and a little butter until the butter starts to foam. Drop a few teaspoonfuls of the mixture into the pan, smoothing each into 4-5 centimetre discs. Cook in batches until golden brown on one side then flip over to finish the other side.Remove the rind from the blue cheese and crumble into a bowl, using an electric hand whisk, whisk the blue cheese until smooth. Add the cream cheese and whisk again. Finally, add the double cream and whisk briefly again
- Combine the honey, sugar, salt and cayenne in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir once then cook for until the sugar has dissolved. Add walnuts, stir to coat and simmer for 5 - 7 minutes or until syrup is lightly browned.
- Drain through a coarse metal sieve, place the walnuts on a lined baking tray, spreading them to an even layer.
- Bake at 175C for approximately 8-10 minutes or until the nuts have darkened slightly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray. Once cool, if you need to break into small pieces.Pipe or spoon the whipped blue cheese onto the blinis then top with the roasted walnuts and sprinkle with chopped chives. Serve.
1.Cooked, grated parsnip and the blinis batter before the addition of egg whites.
2. The blinis don’t take long to cook, make sure they are nicely browned on both sides.