sweets

sesame cake (vegan)

27th January 2021

“This cake gets a double dose of sesame, with tahini and sesame seeds in the batter and lots of crunchy sesame seeds to coat the pan, too” – Yossy Arefi. 

It’s simple to make as it only uses one bowl. To ensure even mixing, use the edge of a whisk to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. For best results, make sure you use a traditional brand of tahini that is runny and smooth. I like baking this in an 8-inch square pan to be cut into tidy squares for gifting to friends.

~ holy basil

~ holy Brahmin cow

~ frangipani tree

~ offerings

sesame cake

Preparation 15 minutes

Baking 35 – 40 minutes

Serves 10 – 12

Recipe slightly adapted from Snacking Cakes by Yossy Arefi.

ingredients

6 Tbsp/50g sesame seeds (a combination of black and white is nice) – divided

3 Tbsp/22g ground flaxseed

¾ cup/170g oat/almond milk

¾ cup/150g plus 1 Tbsp light brown/blond sugar – divided

½ cup/120g smooth runny tahini, well stirred

¼ cup/50g neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed

1 tsp vanilla extract

¾ tsp fine rock salt

1¼ cups/160g all-purpose flour

1½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

½ tsp cardamom powder (freshly ground)

dried rose petals (optional)

preparation

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Oil a sheet of parchment paper and line it in an 8-inch square baking pan, then sprinkle 2 tablespoons sesame seeds on the bottom and 1-inch up the sides.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flaxseeds and milk, allow to sit for 10 minutes, then add the sugar, tahini, oil, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until smooth.

3. Add the flour, 3 Tbsp of the sesame seeds, baking powder, baking soda and cardamom. Whisk until well combined and smooth.

4. Pour the batter into the lined pan, tap gently on the counter to release any air bubbles, and smooth the top. Sprinkle the remaining sugar and sesame seeds on top.

5. Bake until golden, and a tester comes out clean, 35 – 40 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Allow to cool completely before serving, otherwise, it may crumble. It’s optional to sprinkle with rose petals when serving.

flavour variations

peach and raspberry sesame cake: Slice 1 small pitted peach over the top, scatter ½ cup/70g fresh raspberries over the top, then sprinkle with sugar and sesame seeds.

date and sesame cake: Fold ½ cup chopped date into the batter.

use another pan

loaf: Bake in a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. (45 mins)

round: Bake in a 9-inch round pan. (35 – 40 mins)

kaseri bath – sweet upma

12th February 2017

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Satya, sivam and sundaram.

Truth, sacredness, and beauty are three most important characteristics seen throughout the universe. They come from the Eternal Truth and are contained in everything to a greater or lesser extent. Happiness takes shelter under their protection.  Violence can utterly spoil them.  When we intentionally violate these qualities we violate Truth. It is, therefore, our duty to preserve and maintain them.

~ The Sacred Tradition of Yoga – Dr Shankaranarayana Jois

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A recipe shared by our teacher last year as part of The Jivana Yoga Programme, we are fortunate to be graced with their presence here in Portugal.  Their presence in our home and lives leaves a profound effect on our daily existence and our practices become that little bit more concrete and established on this yogic path.

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Kaseri Bath – Sweet Upma

Preparation 40 minutes

Serves 8 – 10 small servings

Kaseri Bath is especially recommended for Yoga practitioners.  It calms the mind and keeps it fresh.  It may be used by all constitutions.  Kaseri Bath can be served as part of the main meal and it is especially recommended to be served with Upma or Idli.  Best served warm, it is the Indian tradition to start with the sweet first.  Depending on the type of sugar used, the taste and colour may vary. Instead of bananas, apple or pineapple can be used.

ingredients 

1½ cups/350ml warm water

1 pinch saffron – 15 threads

½ cup/125ml ghee – melted

10 cashew

10 almonds

1 cup/170g semolina

¼ cup/35g raisins

3 medium/200g bananas

¼ tsp fine rock salt

1 cup/205g light brown sugar 

6 cardamom pods  – ¼ tsp 

preparation 

1.  Place the saffron threads in warm water to steep for 15 minutes.

2.  Cut the almonds into 3 pieces and the cashew nuts into 2 pieces. Peel and cut the bananas into 1 cm pieces.  Remove the hard shell from the cardamom, and place the small black seeds in a mortar and pestle, grind into a fine powder – set aside.

3. In a skillet over medium heat, add ghee, almonds, cashews and semolina – stir continuously for 10 minutes, or until the cashews have turned golden-brown.

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4.  Pour in the saffron water, add the raisins, chopped banana and salt – stir continuously for 3 minutes.  

5.  Add the sugar, after about 30 seconds of stirring the Kaseri Bath will become considerably softer and liquid in consistency, and then will thicken slightly again. This process will take approximately  2-3 minutes, of continually stirring; or until the sugar has dissolved.  While stirring, once you feel the Kaseri Bath is thicker in consistency and starts to pull away from the pan – it is ready. 

6.  Turn off the heat, stir in the cardamom powder, mixing well. 

Allow the Kaseri Bath to rest for a minute and for the flavours to deepen.  Serve warm.

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