Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Birthday Belgian Waffles!

We made a lovely brinner (breakfast for dinner) to celebrate Kyle's birthday. Kyle wanted to do something different and fun. Although we often make pancakes with ridiculous things inside (my favorite combo is Fruity Pebbles, White Chocolate Chips and Sour Skittles), he wanted to mix it up a bit. Our friends have a good-quality Belgian Waffle Maker, so I suggested that.

After some searching on the Internets (shout out to Al Gore), I came across a recipe (originally posted here) from America's Test Kitchen that used Rice Krispies. How could I pass it up?

And here is a little cooking lesson courtesy of ATK on what makes this recipe stand out:

Waffles should be exceptionally crisp on the outside and light on the inside. But a waffle iron traps steam from the batter and increases the likelihood of soggy waffles. (In contrast, toaster waffles are often quite crisp since the toaster allows excess moisture to escape.) Here's what we discovered:

Test Kitchen Discoveries
  • Separating the eggs and beating the egg whites before adding them to the batter adds lightness to the final product.
  • Replacing butter (80 percent fat and 20 percent water) with vegetable oil (100 percent fat, no water) reduces the moisture in the batter, making for crispier waffles.
  • Replacing some of the flour with cornstarch also makes for crispier waffles.
  • Adding Rice Krispies makes the waffles both extra-crispy and extra-light. The cereal adds a malty, slightly sweeter flavor, and each puffed grain of rice produces a tiny pocket of air in the baked waffles.

Light and Crispy Belgian Waffles

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4c flour
  • 1 c Rice Krispies
  • 3/4c cornstarch
  • 1/4c sugar
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 3/4t salt
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2c milk
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 1/2c vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Preheat traditional waffle iron to medium. Meanwhile, stir flour, Rice Krispies, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl.
  2. Whisk egg yolks, milk, vanilla, and oil together in medium bowl.
  3. With electric mixer or balloon whisk, beat egg whites in bowl to soft peaks.
  4. Pour milk mixture over dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
  5. Whisk in beaten whites until just combined. Do not overmix; a few streaks of whites should be visible.
  6. Pour 2/3 cup batter into center of preheated waffle iron and use back of dinner spoon to spread batter toward outer edges (batter should reach about 1/2 inch from edges of iron before closing lid).
  7. Close lid and cook until deep golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. (The waffle maker we used timed itself and it cooked them perfectly). Serve immediately.
They turned out great.The batter might have been a little thick to begin with as there was enough in the waffle maker, but only 1 or 2 waffles spread fully. Or...reading through the directions again I realizing that my batter spreading efforts were probably the problem. The Rice Krispies disappeared, but apparently we can thank them for the pockets of air you will find in the waffle that give it that little extra fluff. And that was only the beginning.

Not wanting to be outdone by our own pancake-y awesomeness, we had an array of toppings: real maple syrup whipped cream, strawberries, strawberry sauce, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, chocolate chips and the like, nuts, Nutella and ice cream. Go big or go home.

Oh man, the vanilla ice cream with the strawberry sauce on top of the waffle? Aaaaaaaaaaaawesooooooooooome.

Suffice to say I doubled the recipe (oh yea, 8 waffles my left food...one batch makes like 6) and the only reason there was part of a waffle left was because I was about to force cake on these people, too.

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