Wednesday, February 4, 2015

No Yeast Belgian Waffles for Brunch

I have really come to appreciate waffles. Much like pancakes, they require more time than oatmeal or eggs in the mornings, and so it’s a treat to know that I have time to make them.

CK and I have different routines in making them: he tends to eat them as they come off the griddle until he is full, and I tend to wait until I’ve finished the entire batch. But we both drink coffee as we go, a very important part to the weekend breakfast making ritual. And we flirt relentlessly.

But I have a confession: indulging myself with sweetener is my current hurdle. I still think less than a tablespoon of honey in my afternoon tea constitutes as an indulgence. And so, while making Belgian waffles this weekend, one hand was holding up the coconut sugar bag and the other was contemplating how much was going into the batch, if any was at all. It’s one of the last “fears” of food I have. I am afraid of going too far (whatever the heck that means), of not stopping, and my body and confidence, which I worked so very hard on, would be gone in that instant. Forever.

Essentially, these waffles provided an existential conundrum for me, forcing me to really look at why I avoid added sugars like honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar, demanding the true reason why I worry about these things. I don’t have any medical condition that tells me to moderate it with Spartan diligence. My palate is sensitive to sweet stuff anyway, and usually does not need to have additional sweetness to be sated. Both are the reasons as to why I typically use banana or other pureed fruits in baking. 

But then I think of how this fear hinders me, how it had kept me from trying recipes simply because it was an indulgence. I want to make donuts and cakes and cookies. I want perfect cinnamon rolls and homemade chocolate chips. I want to enjoy gelato without care. 

And so, as CK and I were making waffles, drinking coffee and sharing our excitement in how much closer our visit was becoming, I looked down at the coconut sugar bag, scooped a heaping tablespoonful, and mixed it in.

It may not seem like a big deal, but it was a healing experience for me to care less than I had known to in the past. And they turned out to be one of the best Belgian Waffle batches I’d ever made. 

Yeast-free Belgian Waffles (inspiration from this recipe)

500 ml Half and half (or 250 ml each Whole Milk and Cream)
3 Large eggs, separated
120 g Brown rice flour
30 g Flaxseed meal
60 g Chickpea flour
1/4 tsp. Sea salt
1/2 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Cream of tartar
1 (heaping) tbsp. Coconut sugar
3 tbsp. Butter, unsalted
Zest of 1 Lemon

Preheat the waffle iron to the manufacturer’s instructions.
In a large bowl or blender, combine the half and half and egg yolks.
Add the remaining ingredients, excluding the egg whites, and combine thoroughly.
In a smaller bowl, whip the egg whites into soft peaks using a whisk or hand blender, and gently fold them into the batter.
If instructed, lightly brush the waffle iron plates with your preference of oil and pour enough of the batter to cover.
Let it cook until the first waffle is a nice golden brown and repeat the process.
Serve warm with your favorite toppings! (This is a sweet waffle recipe, so it will likely do better with sweeter ingredients, such as fruit, maple syrup, and ice cream.)

Depending on your waffle iron, it will make four or more waffles.

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