Chefs' Recipes

Shane Delia's semolina crumpets with caviar and saffron egg mayonnaise

An elegant bite-sized number.

By Shane Delia
  • 50 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking (plus proving)
  • Serves 4
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"Last time I was in Lebanon, I stayed at a beautiful hotel where every evening they had pre-dinner canapés and champagne," says Delia. "This dish is inspired by a Moroccan-style pancake I had, which was rolled up with labne and caviar; it was so elegant. I added semolina to the crumpet to give it bite."


  • 50 gm salmon caviar
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives, to serve
  • Chive flowers or other edible flowers, to serve
Semolina crumpets
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • ¼ tsp caster sugar
  • 120 gm plain flour
  • 65 gm coarse semolina, plus extra for sprinkling
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 100 ml lukewarm milk
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Olive oil, for greasing
Saffron egg mayonnaise
  • ¾ tsp saffron threads
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, yolks only (save whites for another use)
  • 75 gm (¼ cup) Kewpie mayonnaise
  • 1½ tsp lemon juice
Pickled onions
  • 50 ml white wine vinegar
  • 2½ tsp caster sugar
  • ½ small white onion, finely grated


  • 1
    For crumpets, place yeast and sugar in a bowl, then whisk in 150ml lukewarm water. Stand in a warm place until frothy (15 minutes). Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flour, semolina, cream of tartar, milk and 1/2 tsp salt. Add yeast mixture and mix on low speed until combined (8 minutes). Leave mixture to prove until it starts to form bubbles (1 hour). Add bicarbonate of soda and mix on high
    speed until well combined (2 minutes). Transfer to a jug.
  • 2
    For pickled onions, combine vinegar, sugar and 3 tsp water in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Set aside to cool. Combine grated onion in a small bowl with cooled pickling liquid and cover until required.
  • 3
    For saffron egg mayonnaise, place saffron and 2 tsp warm water in a bowl. Set aside to infuse (5 minutes). Blend saffron mixture with remaining ingredients in a small blender until smooth. Season to taste.
  • 4
    Lightly grease 4 non-stick egg rings and place in a large non-stick frying pan. Lightly spray pan with oil. Heat over medium heat. Sprinkle a little extra semolina into each ring, then pour 2 tbsp batter into each ring and cook until holes form on the surface and the top is cooked to the centre (4-5 minutes). Remove rings, then turn crumpets and cook until base is golden (1 minute). Remove crumpets from pan and keep warm while you repeat process with remaining batter.
  • 5
    Serve crumpets topped with saffron egg mayonnaise, pickled onion, salmon caviar, chives and chive flowers.