Did you ever eat those frozen pre-packaged waffles growing up?
I did. And I almost can’t believe I did.
They’re quite a far cry from the crisp, thick, flavorful waffles I now make every Saturday for brunch.
Even though my waffle standards started out with the soggy, spongy frozen variety, I’ve gotten very demanding about how a waffle should be, and you should be too.
A waffle should be crisp as heck but a little fluffy in the middle, have good flavor, and also be doused in real maple syrup (though admittedly that last part has nothing to do with technique).
After experimenting with various waffle ingredient combinations, I’ve discovered there are 5 major secrets to a fantastic waffle:
1. Stiff egg whites-The batter should have stiff egg whites folded into it. When you beat egg whites to stiff peaks, they hold in a TON of air (think about what’s going on with souffles). When you incorporate those airy egg whites into your batter, they make the waffles incredibly light instead of heavy and dense.
2. Cornstarch-I first read about adding cornstarch to waffles after someone sent me Pam Anderson’s recipe, and the thought of adding cornstarch really surprised me. I went in skeptical but after testing it out I was convinced. The addition of cornstarch protects the waffle from getting soggy from cooking steam.
3. Amaretto liqueur (almond liqueur)-I can’t tell you what a difference adding a little amaretto liqueur makes. It makes the waffles much more flavorful and aromatic. If you don’t have amaretto, you really should get some. You can try vanilla extract, but it won’t be as good as amaretto or frangelico (hazelnut liqueur).
4. Buttermilk-Buttermilk is important for the same reason as #3…flavor. We all love substitutes, but be sure to use actual whole milk buttermilk from the store here, not vinegar curdled milk. It will make the waffles taste so much better.
Once the buttermilk amaretto liquid is added to the dry ingredients, it’s time to fold in those stiff egg whites I mentioned earlier:
And now we’ve come to Secret #5-A Flip Waffle Maker. As good as your waffle recipe may be, if you have a crappy waffle maker, you’re going to get crappy waffles.
I know this because I had one. One side would get completely burned, while the other side was underdone.
It pained me to do so, but I threw it away and bought this flip waffle maker instead. Flipping the iron after pouring in the batter allows all the liquid to spread out evenly, and the waffle cooks evenly on both sides.
And of course, it can’t hurt to pour on some maple syrup, dust with a little powdered sugar, and add a little butter on top:
Here’s the recipe:
Ingredients: Directions: Notes Update: With the Presto wafflemaker, you flip the waffle right after pouring in the batter, and leave it like that for the 3-4 minute duration. See your waffle maker's instructions for specific instructions.
Update: With the Presto wafflemaker, you flip the waffle right after pouring in the batter, and leave it like that for the 3-4 minute duration. See your waffle maker's instructions for specific instructions.
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