pear & ginger cornmeal cake

14th January 2018

Just a few months ago we moved all the Jivana Yoga classes from our living room in the main house to the new ‘Sadvidya Space’ located at the very back of the property.  It is a beautiful, wild, and natural space overlooking the fruit orchard and the vegetable garden. To get there it is quite a journey, entering through a unassuming green door, stepping into and away from the hustle and bustle of old Sintra; you then weave your way past the main house, following the signs that lead along a cobbled stoned path through a lush green forest full of moss, all the while listening to the soft and sweet melody of the birds above.

Already something of yourself has softened and a natural quietness begins to present itself from within. You continue to pass an old chapel canopied under richly, scented eucalyptus trees which loom above, and there you find yourself at a door of the ‘Sadvidya Space’ where one can enter into the warmth and escape the attraction of the external world to travel inwards for a few hours.

I like to think of this journey from the ‘Green Door’ to the ‘Space’ as preparation for our inward practice, helping us to begin to let go along the way.  This is also where I like to test my new recipes and serve them after class to our lovely group on Saturday mornings. This pear and ginger cornmeal cake disappeared very quickly.  

´The Sadvidya Space´

pear & ginger cornmeal cake

8  servings

The ginger and pear are perfect together and the ginger is subtle enough that it lingers.  A very easy dessert for morning or to prepare for a large group.  I like to bake this in a wider baking tray (6.5-inch x 10.5-inch) almost like a slice if using a smaller tray or skillet the cake may need more cooking time.

pear topping :

4 small/370g small firm pears

2 Tblsp butter/ghee/coconut oil (I used butter)

2 Tblsp brown sugar

dry ingredients :

1 cup/135g cornmeal

½ cup/75g whole wheat flour

½ cup/75g unbleached white flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp fine rock salt

1 heaped tsp ginger powder

wet ingredients :

¼ cup soy milk/almond milk

¼ cup olive oil

¾ cup maple syrup (maple syrup can be replaced with ½ cup sugar, increase almond milk to ¾ cup instead of ¼)

2 Tblsp finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional)

garnishing:

2 Tblsp brown sugar

½ cup roughly chopped macadamia nuts

preparation :

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.  Line a baking pan or a round 8- to 9- inch cast iron skillet.

for the pear topping: Halve the pears, remove the seeds, and slice each half into fours about ¼-inch thick. Set aside.  In a large skillet add the butter/oil and sugar, place the skillet over a medium heat and melt the mixture, stirring to combine.  Cook until the mixture begins to bubble, about 2 minutes. Add the pears, toss the pan to coat them with syrup, cover and allow to simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

for the cake: Whisk together the cornmeal, whole wheat flour, unbleached white flour, baking powder, salt and ginger powder in a mixing bowl.  Set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the nut milk, olive oil, maple syrup, and if using the finely chopped crystallized ginger.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients.  Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon; do not over mix. Pour into the baking dish or oiled skillet, you may need to spread the batter out with a spatula.

Toss the pears to coat them with the pan juices and individually lay the pear slices decoratively in even rows over the top of the batter, drizzle with the remaining pan juices. Sprinkle with a little brown sugar and the roughly chopped macadamia nuts.

Bake until golden for approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve with a dollop of cream or Greek yoghurt.

Goodness shared by Stacey

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