Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Better Than New York Waffles & Dinges

I'm back at it, trying to recreate some of the memorable treats I had while in New York, and in this case trying to make it better.
My experience at Waffles and Dinges in New York didn't go quite as I had hoped. The idea was great, fresh waffle with ice cream and chocolate sauce, just like the breakfast my dad made for me as a kid.

The problem with the Waffles and Dinges, at least from the cart at Central Park, was that they were hard as rocks, and had little flavor. I was hoping to find a recipe for a delicious Belgian waffle that would be softer than the original brick that I tried and tastier as well.
The recipe I decided to try was a recipe from the founder of Waffles and Dignes, which was a basic Belgian yeast batter. The outcome was a tasty waffle that was now too soft and chewy.

I didn't want to waste the batter, so even though I didn't care for the waffles, I continued making the entire batch. When I finished pulling the last waffle out of the waffle iron I had an idea...toast them in the toaster. That was just the answer, a few seconds in the toaster made the waffles perfect, slightly crunchy on the outside and moist and chewy on the inside.

And as if these waffles weren't sweet enough I tried making them again using an idea from a recipe my friend emailed me, Liege Waffles, using pearl sugar in the batter. (Actually I couldn't find pearl sugar. Ikea use to carry it but now when I need it they don't, so I used sugar cubes.) Adding the "pearl sugar" not only adds sweetness to the waffles, it also adds little bits of crunch, from the sugar crystallizing in the waffle iron. Even without the ice cream and chocolate sauce, these waffles are the best waffles I have long as I toast them before serving :)

Waffles and Dinges
From Food & Wine

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup pearl sugar, or 24 sugar cubes quartered (Optional) 
Belgian Chocolate-Fudge Sauce:
1 cup heavy cream
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar 
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water. In a large bowl, stir the flour with the salt. Whisk in the yeast mixture, milk, butter, egg yolks and vanilla until smooth.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold them into the batter and let stand for 20 minutes.
While you let the batter stand you can make the chocolate sauce. In a saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes, then stir until the chocolate is melted. Add the confectioners' sugar and whisk until smooth.
Preheat waffle iron. Pour batter into the iron and sprinkle with some of the "pearl sugar". Cook until the waffles are golden. Repeat with the remaining batter. Toast waffle in toaster for several seconds before serving with your choice of maple syrup or ice cream and chocolate sauce.

* In the original recipe they say to put the waffles in a 250 degree oven after they are done cooking in the waffle iron. When I tried this it did not help with their sad limp exterior, so I have skipped that step and replaced it with toasting them in the toaster.

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