Although I tend to lean toward savory breakfasts more often than not, there is always a special place in my heart for a little sweet treat to start the day. I recently acquired a waffle maker. It was a bit of a challenge determining what kind of waffle maker to get, but after some research I decided to purchase a Belgian-style waffle maker.
The main difference between traditional waffles and Belgian (at least in terms of the waffle maker) is that the Belgian-style has deeper pockets and thus yields slightly drier/crisper waffles, while the traditional-style has smaller pockets and are a bit flatter. The shape of the waffle (round vs square doesn't seem to make a different in terms of the actual waffle makers (I've seen both Belgian and traditional in both shapes) but for authentic Belgian waffles, the true shape should be rectangular.
|Photo courtesy Amazon.com|
I selected a Hamilton Beach Belgian-style waffle maker, which yields two rectangular 3 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch waffles. That sounds small, but trust me, they can be quite filling! Although the batter differs for various types of waffles, they can generally be made in either style and shape waffle maker. I wanted to get this particular size and shape because not only could I make any traditional waffles I desire, but I could make authentic Belgian waffles, since this is the appropriate size, shape, and grid style with the deeper pockets.
In addition to getting a waffle maker, I decided to invest in a book to offer some unique recipes I could use with my new gadget. I selected Waffles by Tara Duggan. Her book includes a lot of sweet and savory waffle recipes with gourmet flair. There are a lot of recipes within the book that intrigue me, but there is an oversight in the book that I need to address.
Duggan states that Belgian waffle batter is different from traditional waffle batter because the egg whites are whipped separately, but actually the difference in waffles styles should be the leavening--Belgians traditionally use yeast instead of baking powder. The Belgian recipes in this book use baking powder. They are not actually authentic Belgian-style waffles.
With that said, I'm sure whipping the egg whites would still yield extra fluffy waffles reminiscent of what many restaurant in America call "Belgian" waffles. I doubt that most brunch spots offering Belgian waffles in America leaven their waffles with yeast as the Belgians do, so this is probably reminiscent of what many Americans associate with Belgian-style waffles. Personally, I've eaten authentic Belgian waffles and they are kind of the greatest thing on Earth. I plan to make authentic Belgian waffles soon using yeast, and I will definitely share those escapades with you all!
In the meantime, today I'm sharing a light and tangy waffle recipe from Duggan's book featuring two of my favorite things: yogurt and honey. I must say, I'm impressed by both my reasonably-priced waffle maker and this Waffle cookbook (minus that Belgian-waffle issue). The recipe says it makes 4 to 8 waffles (depending on your waffle maker), but since my rectangular waffles are perhaps a bit on the smaller side, I yielded exactly 10 waffles.
These yogurt waffles are incredibly fluffy on the inside, yet crisp on the outside. The yogurt really instills a nice refreshing tangy flavor to the batter, and the yogurt and honey cream is a wonderful alternative to sweet maple syrup.
|I used the blueberry honey (right) for a delicious and fragrant finish.|
An extra drizzle of honey is all the added sweetness you need. Although the recipe calls for wildflower honey (which I have), I decided to use blueberry honey instead, since blueberries makes me think of summer and blueberry waffles/pancakes, and thus begins melting all the snow in the recesses of my mind.
Yogurt Waffles with Honey Cream
Makes 4 to 8 waffles (or 10 with my waffle maker)
(Adapted from Waffles)
1 cup (8 oz/250 g) plain yogurt
1/4 cup (3 oz/90 g) wildflower honey (I used blueberry honey)
2 large eggs
1 cup (8 oz/250 g) plain yogurt
1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) whole milk, plus more as needed (I used low-fat)
1/2 cup (4 oz/125 g) unsalted butter, melted, or 1/2 cup (4 oz/125 g) canola oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz/235 g) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Warm honey for serving
To make the honey cream, in a medium bowl, whisk together the 1 cup yogurt and the honey.
Preheat a waffle maker.
In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1 cup yogurt, milk, butter, honey, and vanilla.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then pour in the egg mixture. Whisk until mostly smooth, with just a few lumps. If the batter is too thick, stir in another 1 to 2 tablespoons milk.
Ladle the batter into the waffle maker, using 1/2 to 3/4 cup (4-6 fl oz/125-180 ml) batter per batch, or follow waffle maker instructions (mine suggests ladling about 1/3 cup batter in the center of each square). Spread the batter so that it almost reaches the edges of the waffle maker. Cook until the waffles are crisp and browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
Using a silicone plastic or wooden spatula, remove the waffles from the waffle maker and serve right away, or place on a baking sheet in a single layer in a 200 degree F (95 degree C) oven for up to 20 minutes before serving. Top with the honey cream and a light drizzle of honey.
Cook's Note: The measurements in this recipe are directly from the book, however the ounce and gram conversions are generally not very accurate, especially for the larger values. It seems as though whoever did the conversions just tried to round to the closest number, but in some cases it's vastly different. For example 235 grams of flour is closer to 8.3 ounces, not 7.5 (that's almost a whole ounce off!), but 90 grams of honey is 3.2 ounces, so that's at least much closer to 3. I'm not sure which measurements were the author's original, however, I use the gram measurements and find those to yield good results.