"These blinis represent my Russian heritage. They were inspired by buckwheat blinis which are so traditional in Russian cuisine. These blinis are a great alternative to pancakes. They are thinner than pancakes but just as fluffy!"
Dissolve white sugar and yeast in warmed milk. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Pierce yam in several places in a fork. Cook in the microwave until soft, about 7 minutes. Mash with a fork on a small plate.
Whisk egg and vanilla extract together in a small bowl.
Sift whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Add milk mixture, mashed yam, and egg mixture; stir until batter is the consistency of sour cream.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; grease with cooking spray. Drop 1/4 cup batter onto the skillet; cook until edges are dry, 30 to 40 seconds. Flip and cook until browned on the other side, about 30 seconds more. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing skillet between batches.
Combine 1/2 cup milk, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, ginger, and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until smooth and thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour over blinis.