28 Sep 2010

What a Load of Waffle!

Approx. 30 individual waffles
Preparation: 15 mins (+ 1 hr minimum raising time)
Cooking: 2 mins each

These waffles are not for the calorie-counter, the diet-conscious or the faint-hearted. These fluffy egg-rich little soothers will blow away the Winter (or Summer!) cobwebs and deliver a punch in terms of taste. So no need - if you can help it - to lather them in sugary toppings. These waffles are no complication: they are simply an ode to simplicity rediscovered, with basic earthy ingredients and a no-nonsense method. Plus a touch of fairground nostalgia for good measure!

Amongst the times when I made those was as a New Year's Eve Waffle Party: a perfect antidote to Winter blues that delighted the 'Xmassed out' and kept the hostess's financial status in the black.
  • 600g flour
  • 15g baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla-flavoured sugar (optional)
  • 3/4l semi-skimmed organic milk
  • 80g salted butter (+ for the waffle iron)
  • 6 medium organic eggs
In the biggest mixing bowl you have handy (and wide enough to allow a soup laddle to move around it), put the flour, baking powder, vanilla-flavoured sugar and milk and blend together with a spoon. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, over a low flame to avoid burning. Add the melted butter to the mix and blend again.

Separate the egg yolks from the whites into two separate bowls. Whisk the whites firmly (preferably with an electric whisk) until they form beaks. Separately whisk the egg yolks until they emulsion. Add the beaten yolks to the batter and blend together. Then carefully and gradually spoon the whisked egg whites into the mix, blending together in a light manner, so as to ensure that the mix remains fluffy and airy. A vigorous blend would simply kill off the fluffiness, impair raising and impact on the consistency of the end product.

Leave to raise, covered with a clean kitchen towel (and away from drafts) for at the very least 1 hour (ideally 2 to 3 hours) before your guests arrive and the waffle party begins.

If like I, you are planning to use an electric waffle-maker, switch it on and make sure it is well hot before using. Carefully run a knob of butter with a knife over the waffle plates before pouring the batter over them (one laddle-worth should suffice to avoid leaks). A couple of minutes should be enough to cook the waffles on each side, but this depends of course on your appliance and how golden and crunchy you wish them to be (best to check with your guests too). Butter the waffle plates before each use (to prevent any stickiness and coat the waffles with that lovely yet subtle buttery taste).

Best to savour (or devour!) still warm and au naturel. However unconditional sweet-tooth aficionados may experiment with a light touch of sugar in its different guises and neatly presented in matching serving bowls: icing sugar (my personal favourite!), demerara, brown, flavoured, golden syrup, liquid caramel, agave syrup, maple syrup... The choice is yours!

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