Growing up, we were a pancake and french toast family. My dad would make the french toast, I would make the pancakes. I remember the day I realized that pancake batter could be made from scratch, and that Aunt Jemima pancake mix was simply, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder - it was a major revelation. I also remember the day I transitioned from Aunt Jemima corn syrup to maple syrup, and I kid you not, it was only like 10 years ago. I really really loved pancakes, but felt lukewarm towards french toast. I would have happily traded it in for waffles, but to be honest, I thought that waffles came either frozen in a box or served with vanilla ice cream in sandwich form, at the fair. Really, if someone had of bought me a waffle maker when I was young, I probably could have mastered the art of waffles by now.
My breakfast's, amongst other things, has changed drastically since my teenage days. Gone are the days of a can of pop and sugary cereal for breakfast, and frozen Eggo waffles and corn syrup are things of the past. Brent bought me a waffle maker for Christmas last year, and now we do it up in style with fresh homemade waffles every weekend, with all the fancy fixings. I'm now making up for lost waffle time. Every weekend we experiment with a new recipe. We've been slowly narrowing in what we like -soft, sweet, and fluffy, yet crispy on the outside, are things we can agree upon. We've experimented with whole wheat waffles, hippie-dippie spelt waffles, liege waffles, crispy waffles, blueberry waffles, you name it, we've tried it. Up until a few months ago, I was still searching for a recipe I could use as my go-to. I then stumbled upon this recipe, claiming to be a true Belgium waffle. After taking a closer look at the recipe, I knew they couldn't be true Belgium waffles, because from what I understand, true Belgium waffles are made from a yeast batter, and tend to be a lot thinner. Actually, in Belgium there is no one particular style that is identified as a 'Belgium waffle'. They have many different types of waffles. In North America, we call the large, fluffy, waffles, with deep pockets invented for filling with loads of maple syrup, Belgium waffles.
This recipe calls for a separation of egg yolks, and then beating the whites into a stiff peak, and folding into the batter, creating a lighter fluffier waffle. The high proportion of butter in this recipe is a pretty good indication that they are going to taste great. I've now made them at least 10 or so times, and for a few out of town guests. Everyone seems to adore them. They are an American style Belgium waffle, light and fluffy, sweet, and crispy on the outside. For the time being, I have stopped my search for the perfect waffle. I am content with this recipe. I am sure that sometime in the future, I will become interested in trying to perfect the Liege waffle. But for now, I am so happy with these.
WAFFLES WITH MAPLE PECANS AND CHANTILLY CREAM
makes 8 waffles
recipe adapted from Taste of Home
notes: make the maple pecans and Chantilly cream ahead of time. Preferably, the maple pecans the night before.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
To make the waffles:
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar and baking powder.
Separate the eggs, and lightly beat the yolks. Combine the yolks with the milk, butter and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients until just combined.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold into the batter.
Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions until golden brown.
To make the maple pecans:
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, combine the maple syrup, sugar, and salt. Add the pecans and toss.
Spread the pecans onto the parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes, toss, and then bake for 10 more minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Best eaten the next day.
To make the chantilly cream:
Place the stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment into the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove, and beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla, on high until stiff peaks form.
Top the waffles with chantilly and pecans.