Belgian Waffles – A photo essay

The recipe that created this.

There is confectioner’s sugar in the mid/upper right hand corner because I wanted it there, certainly not because I got carried away. Also, I promise the syrup container is definitely not sitting right there to cover spilled syrup.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

Always use real maple syrup. I don’t care which grade you choose or where it originates. Just be sure to use the real thing. When I introduced my brother to real maple syrup, I actually changed his life. My mom, on the other hand, still claims she prefers that weird brown goo from Aunt Jemima. Maybe she’s not my real mom after all…

This is a three-bowl recipe. You have one for dry ingredients, one for wet, and another for egg whites. Notice the whisk in this photo rather than a wooden spoon. I’m not sure if I’ve said this yet, but it’s important. I hate wooden spoons. I don’t have a good reason; I just really don’t like them. Now, the recipe says to mix until it turns pale yellow. Here’s a tip: don’t use an orange bowl and try to judge “pale yellow.” Light and color do magical things, and if I’d kept going until it looked “pale yellow” in this bowl, I would have been mixing forever.
This is the same flour I had such trouble with the other night (click the photo to revisit it). Mom told me she had trouble getting it to break down in something earlier in the week, so maybe it wasn’t me after all. There was only one way to be sure, so I painstakingly sifted it today in hopes I could overcome its tendency to make dumplings.

 

I weirdly enjoy beating egg whites to that “soft peak” fluffiness. It’s rewarding for some reason. It’s also very important in this case so don’t skip it or rush it. This is the folding point, but I obviously took “fold into” to mean “dump into.” Hey, they turned out fine.
Here’s the waffle maker. It’s the Oster Flip Nonstick Belgian Waffle Maker (click photo to buy). Please understand how important it is NOT to spray this waffle maker with anything or put oil into it. It might be tempting, but do not do it.
Waffle number one. Nope. Didn’t flip it quickly enough so the batter didn’t run into all the crevices. Also didn’t put quite enough batter into the iron. Also, what is that black thing on there?!
Waffle number two. This looks quite a bit better, but the fact the edges are missing batter also indicates the amount isn’t quite there yet. Got the flip time right, though! See, there’s an indicator light on the iron that, technically, you’re supposed to use to tell you to fill and flip and remove. It does not quite work out that way. I ended up making waffles by smell. When it stopped smelling like batter and smelled instead like a waffle, it was time to pull it. This approach, oddly enough, worked quite well.

 

Eventually, we got it. This was the third waffle I made out of a total of 7 (!!). From this one onward, they all looked pretty good except the very last one that had a few more bubbles in the batter simply because it had been sitting for a bit longer as the others were cooked. It was still pretty beautiful and tasted great.┬áThe strawberries are merely there for color. I did eat them, but their main function here was nothing more than a pop of red. Hey, I had some fruit with breakfast today, and that’s what’s really important.

 

They were light with a crispy outside and fluffy inside. The best part was that they weren’t too sweet. I love a semi-sweet waffle because I can put more syrup on them that way. There’s not much in the photos here because I try to maintain SOME decorum here. Trust me when I say that little vat of syrup in the last picture will never be enough. The same rules apply to butter, which I eat very little of on a regular basis. In the case of waffles, though, it must be a major component.
Here’s another close up so you can see even this one wasn’t perfect. Look at the bottom of it where there were still a few valleys missing batter. I think I nailed it by the end, though. This was also before I added more syrup and butter.
Meanwhile, I stopped taking pictures, added more butter, and as I was beginning to overdo the syrup, my sister reminded me there was whipped cream. I thought I’d offer you a partially-eaten shot of the waffle with ALL THE THINGS. You can also see I took too long taking pictures before I ate because the butter is not melted. Is it weird if I like them that way?

In the end, this was easy and delicious. It was well worth using three separate bowls to make it.

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