Saturday, January 29, 2011

Someone's Mama's Best Belgian Waffles


I never really cared much for the cafeteria my freshman year of college. Instead, since my roommate and I were both Nutrition majors, we would go together to use our meal plans to buy healthier items at the campus market and stock up our mini fridge. However, if I ever did go to the cafeteria, it was usually for an irrational late night splurge- either Mac n cheese, Belgian waffles, or Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I loved the waffles because you could pour the batter yourself into the Belgian waffle flipper and cook it just to your liking. This is how I fell in love with Belgian waffles.

But what makes them different from regular old 'waffles' that I would like them so much more? Well, Belgian waffles have a much lighter and fluffier batter, traditionally from yeast, but could also be from baking soda or other leaveners. This creates the contrast of a super soft and light inside with the sweet and crispy outside. There are few things worse than a soggy, flimsy waffle. Also the fluffy volume of the Belgian batter allows it to fill out the deeper pockets of the Belgian waffle iron. No wonder I loved them so much, lightly crispy with a tender middle AND I could fit more syrup, strawberries, and whipped cream in its deep pockets! So this is their trick to the freshmen fifteen!

After researching numerous recipes online, this one stood out to me because it was a very successful recipe from the writer's mom's kitchen. I've learned that any recipe that begins with some variation of, 'This was my mom's recipe...' is usually a winner. Plus, she calls the waffles 'delectable delights'!! It was meant to be! I have made these several times now, and trust me- these 'delectable delights' do not disappoint!

Ingredient List (This makes 4 on my very big waffle iron, but maybe 6 on a regular sized one?):
2 1/4 tsp dry Yeast (or 1 pkg)
2 cups warmed Milk
4 Eggs, separated
1 tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 cup melted Butter (or 1 stick)

1. In a glass measuring cup/bowl, warm your milk in the microwave and stir in the yeast.
**Normally, when I am baking with yeast, I sprinkle some sugar in warm water because the yeast needs warmth and nutrition to grow. But, since this recipe uses milk, milk already has natural sugars, galactose and lactose. In fact, the galactose is a more simple form (monosaccharide) for the yeast to utilize than the white sugar (sucrose, a disaccharide) that I would normally add.

2. In a big bowl (because it will rise later) Beat egg YOLKS only, then add and mix in the milk/yeast mixture along with the vanilla:

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar, and add-n-mix that into the wet mixture:

4. Now add the melted butter (can melt it in the microwave in the same glass dish you used earlier)

5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg WHITES only until they are firm peaks. Firm peaks should stand up on their own like this one in my bowl:

6. Then gently fold them into the other mixture until it is well incorporated but not overworked. Can you just see how fluffy it is!

7. Now, just let it sit in a a warm place and rise for about 45 minutes or so (I like to preheat my oven to 100 degrees F, then turn it off and let my batter rise in there).
**This makes it another great Saturday morning recipe... while it rises, you have the perfect opportunity to take a walk to the coffee shop and go for a morning stroll.
What a beautiful morning it was today; and what a pleasant stroll it made.

45 minutes later, look how it has risen almost to the brim of the bowl!

Now you are ready to waffle! Set your waffle iron to your desired doneness... See how I have mine set to '4' out of '5'- that's because I like mine very crispy on the outside, but don't worry it still stays very soft and light on the inside :) 
Pour in your batter, and close the lid. See that little red light? Do NOT lift the lid until the green light comes on... waiting here might be the hardest part of making waffles. 

it's GREEN!...

Plate it up with your favorite toppings and enjoy! I love mine with just syrup, strawberries, and whipped cream... mmmmm. 
These strawberries were from Farmers Market back when they were in season. If you are like me, and you buy a whole flat because you get so excited about them, but then can't eat them all in time- just wash and cut them up and freeze them in a tupperware container. Then you can defrost fresh strawberries whenever you want them, even when they're not in season :)
Oooooh, those deep pockets hold that dark, buttery, maple-y syrup!

If you have any survivors, you can freeze them in ziplock baggies; They toast up very nicely on work mornings for a delicious breakfast in no time at all.

1 comment:

  1. The Belgian Waffles look delicious! The food photos are excellent. Great informative blog!

    UD, Tucson, AZ