“Drama is very important in life: You have to come on with a bang. You never want to go out with a whimper. Everything can have drama if it’s done right. Even a pancake” -Julia Child
Gluten-free Moringa Corn Cakes
Recipe by Livvy Greenfield
Prep Time: 10 minutes, or 30 minutes if using a form of yeast
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 large pancakes
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup rice flour, or any other sort of flour that floats your boat
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp moringa
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water*
Oil for cooking
1 tbsp seeds of your choice, I used flax
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup roughly chopped almonds, lightly toasted if you want to get real fancy
*In my original recipe for Buckwheat Pancakes, I found that using buttermilk as the liquid leads to infinitely fluffier cakes. However, when whipping up these bad boys I had no buttermilk in the house, or almond milk, or raw milk for that matter; so water just had to do.
Pancakes are fun because they’re so versatile; so if you happen to not have one of the listed ingredients, no sweat! I find that the rising agents I use in my pancakes vary greatly from batch to batch, mainly because I don’t have eggs around the house on a regular basis. I used them in this recipe because I figured that most people do. However, if you don’t usually eat eggs like me, I find that a 1/2 packet of dried yeast or a 1/2 cup of sourdough starter works wonders.
Combine all of your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl whisk the egg. If you’re not using eggs, warm up the water a little bit (or buttermilk if you’re using it) and dissolve the dry yeast or sourdough starter with the tablespoon of sugar. Let it sit for five to ten minutes or until you see bubbles. Combine wet and dry ingredients and fold in mix ins. If using yeast, let the final mixture sit for another five to ten minutes again. This allows the yeast time to activate.
Turn on the stovetop to medium-high heat. You will be adjusting this constantly as every stove functions differently.
Very lightly oil whatever pan you’re using. A nickel sized amount spread with a paper towel is really all you need (just make sure to add more between batches). I was always under the impression that there is no existing recipe where more oil doesn’t vastly improve it. I was wrong. The less oil you use with pancakes, the fluffier they will turn out. My first few pancake attempts turned out flat and soggy, as the batter wants to absorb whatever oil it sits in. A hot, dry pan allows your pancakes aerate and rise. That being said, some oil must be used otherwise the cakes will stick to the pan and nobody wants that.
Now it’s time to get these cakes cookin’! I generally use a 1/3 cup measuring cup for big, restaurant style corn cakes, but a 1/4 cup measuring cup works nicely for smaller cakes if you want to feed more people, or if that’s more your style. Once you pour in the batter, DO NOT TOUCH the cakes until they are thoroughly speckled with bubbles and easily lift from the pan. If they are browning too quickly, turn down the heat. I find myself constantly adjusting the heat up and down for perfectly browned cakes. Too hot and they burn, too low and you’ll be spending ten minutes on each cake. Do not leave your station; these babies need attention.
Serve hot to lots of friends and enjoy!