Life's better with cake and a sprinkle of fairy dust
It’s been FOREVER since the last post. Was up to my eyeballs with bread production day, which is sort of a major exam, in school. Then my Macbook went kaput on me without warning. Hard disk totally crashed. Like, gone. For good. I’m struggling to get reacquainted with typing on hubby’s old laptop. Then hit by three days of migraine which caused me to miss a whole week of classes. Shit happens, but this should be classified as diarrhea in a bad way.
Anyway, there’s always a bright side to everything. Taking a week’s break from school turned out to a welcome respite from all the sore muscles, stress and lack of sleep. It also gave me a long overdue chance to catch up with my dear old friend Y, over some homemade malted milk waffles and macadamia caramel ice cream.
Y could not resist adorning the balls of ice cream with these leftover sugarpaste lamb heads from these lamb/sheep cupcakes I baked for an ex-colleagues triplets’ birthdays yesterday.
Back to the waffles. Tasted malted milk waffles for the first time at a hotel buffet a couple of months back and have been trying to recreate those delicious memories at home ever since. These (my 3rd attempt) are decent. All from scratch. Nothing from a premix, I’m proud to say.
I was inspired by this recipe from the Stewart Family Food blog. Made it the first time and found it crisp but bland, so I upped the sugar the next time. The second attempt was okay, but the texture felt quite hard, not quite as soft and fluffy as I desired. So, hoping third time would be the charm, I decided to substitute half of the plain flour with cake flour (cake flour is lower in protein – the stuff that makes waffles tough) and increase the amount of egg (which makes waffles soft). I also reduced the amount of oil by 30% because seriously, FOUR TABLESPOONS of butter for a recipe that make just three seven-inch waffles is a scary amount of fat. That’s like four teaspoons of butter per waffle, or 20 grams of fat, or 180 calories from fat ALONE per waffle. I’m not usually one to count my calories, but seriously most waffle recipes could do with some kind of health makeover. Reducing the oil runs the risk of making the waffles lose their crisp exterior, but remember I also upped the sugar? Sugar also helps to make the waffles crisp, so hopefully that’s going to work. In doing this, I was breaking the cardinal rule in my bakery science textbook that instructs that when fiddling with a recipe, we should always change only one variable at a time. But hey, who wants to wait a year for the perfect waffle recipe? Life’s too short.
These turned out very crisp but very light and soft on the interior. Almost too soft. It was so delicate, the first one had a bit of a mishap when the waffle iron was opened. It tore open and then got squashed when the iron was closed again. Not a pretty sight. Also it stuck. On my tried-and-tested NONSTICK waffle iron. Less oil and more sugar (plus sugar in the malted milk) probably were the culprits.
Nothing a very generous spray of Pam couldn’t salvage. Better oil on the iron than in our waffles. The subsequent waffles were perfect and released from the iron with a bit of gentle coaxing with a pair of tongs.
Recipe adapted from the Stewart Family Food blog. Makes 6 seven-inch Belgian waffles.
Put all the dry ingredients into a 5-litre jug (makes for easy pouring) and give it a good whisk to distribute all the micro-ingredients. Throw in the yolks, water (or milk) and oil and some elbow grease in in order. Mix up the slurry until smooth. Whisk the whites in a clean bowl until stiff and fold gently into the slurry. Pour into waffle iron that has been preheating on the highest setting (I’m the impatient sort). Close and flip, if your iron flips, that is. If it doesn’t, throw it out. It’s not good for much.
Some waffle iron makers tell you to pour 3/4 cup of batter, some say 1 cup. I just kind of eyeball it. When is it ready? I eyeball that too. I’d go with 4 minutes on high, take a peek and if the colour is a deep golden brown, it’s done.
Why should everyone get a waffle iron and make waffles at home? For purely economical reasons. Hubby got me a new waffle iron from Amazon.com that’s probably much better than my old one and it cost him just under sgd90, shipping included. If we had gone out for breakfast waffles in a cafe or restaurant, one meal could have easily set us back 30 dollars. See? Make waffles 3 times and I would have got his money’s worth. Heehee.. how’s that for a shrewd young housewife?
Besides, having your own waffle iron means limitless options. Next up on my adventure list are 1) sourdough multigrain waffles (from my own starter I’ve been tending for months) and 2) to replicate that lovely smoked haddock dish served on potato waffles with salsify foam from Le Bistrot du Sommelier (okie, maybe not the salsify foam). And Bakkwa waffles, anyone?