I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with waffles… Those crenellations all crispy and toasty, the light texture, and of course the fact they are habitually drenched in maple syrup. Oh, and come with bacon.
Back growing up in NZ the waffle was a bit of an elusive creature. The best you could do was hope for a waffle iron for Christmas. When I got one, a round Breville waffle maker that made heart shaped waffles with zigzaggy crenellations, for a while I was happy…
But then year or two ago, I had the pleasure of having to go to Toronto twice in a year. And I n downtown
Waffle Country Toronto on King St West there is a café called Petit Dejeuner which boasts “the best waffles in town”. Now I haven’t done the “in town” part of the research, but I’m pretty convinced about the best waffles part. Not least because they had these deep crispy holes so that you could drink your maple syrup out of.
When I got home I had a renewed waffle conviction, which requird a hunt for the right waffle iron. Australia isn’t really waffle country and waffle irons are unimaginably thin on the ground, and I had a lot of doubt about casting money into Amazon.com for an iron which might not yield the requisite hole depth. But Lo! I found a stovetop waffle iron at Chef’s Hat with superb hole depth for less than $25. And after some trials am satisfied that I’ve found a Best Waffles In Town recipe of my own. Which is lucky because Toronto is a long way away.
The recipe I found in an old French cookbook called them Gaufres Grand Mère. The mixture contains a ruinous amount of butter and is leavened with baking powder. They are lightened even further with beaten egg whites. Despite the butter quotient, they are the least rich of my waffle repertoire which makes them perfect for everything. Waffle nirvana has been achieved.
Light Crispy Waffles – Gaufres Grand Mère
makes about 15 deep 16cm waffles
500g plain flour
15 g sugar
8 egg yolks
280g melted butter
250 mL milk
4 egg whites
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup rum (optional)
Mix the flour, sugar, salt, egg yolks and butter in a large bowl. Add the milk and mix until well combined.
Beat egg whites until they hold their shape, the fold into the batter, mixing gently but thoroughly.
Just before baking, add the baking powder and (if using) the rum.
Heat your waffle iron. If using a stove top iron, heat both sides. Scoop about half a cup of mixture into the waffle iron and spread out to about 1cm from the edges. You’ll need to experiment with the amount needed for your own irons! If using a stovetop iron, flip after about 45 seconds. Wait another 45 seconds then gently open the irons to check. You can always flip again if not quite golden enough. Be careful not to overlook, these waffles will burn quite rapidly.
Eat immediately, or reheat for a short time in a toaster. These waffles also freeze well.