The Last Hurrah: Yeasted Waffles with Raspberry Ripple Cream
One of the awesome things about Zoe is that she love, love, loves cooking shows. Whenever she wakes up before her sister, she comes to get me and we sneak down to squeeze in a little Ina or Giada or Ree before breakfast. It is heaven.
One day last week, we were watching a clip on the Food52 YouTube channel, in which Kristen Miglor was making Nigel Slater's recipe for Raspberry Ripple Cream on Toast. This is exactly what it sounds like--mashed raspberries gently swirled through lightly sweetened whipped cream and then heaped onto hot toast. Zoe and I looked at each other. No words needed needed. We knew that we would need to make this ASAP. And we did. And it was glorious. As I was eating it, though, I just kept thinking "but what if we put it on a waffle!!??"
After a wonderful week away at a rented cottage near Parry Sound, followed by a lazy long weekend, Michael returned to work today and Mae returned to daycare. Neither of them were thrilled at the prospect of re-entering ordinary life. Zoe, however, was given a tiny reprieve, as Senior Kindergarten does not begin until tomorrow. I decided that today was the day we put the cream on the waffles, so we invited one of her besties over for a little waffle party before they entered the hallowed halls of SK.
If you have yet to discover yeasted waffles, prepare to have your mind blown. I first discovered this recipe on Smitten Kitchen years ago, but it goes back much farther than that. Deb Pearlman prefaces her version by saying that as far as she can tell, they date back all the way to Fannie Farmer, in 1886. I have no idea if this is true--I have been far to busy eating waffles to fact check.
These are unequivocally the world's best waffles. You can choose to disagree with me, but you would be wrong. They contain nothing fancy or surprising, yet they have the most unique, almost sourdough flavour. Unlike other waffles I have met, they have a truly delicate texture, crispy on the outside, with a light, feathery interior. If you're like me and always have yeast in your fridge, then you probably have everything you need to make them in your kitchen right now. The only catch is that you have to plan ahead, because their flavour depends on the batter's long, slow rise, during which time they kind of ferment (that sounds terrible, I know, but trust me when I say it is a good thing). But even this catch is actually genius, because it means that you can make the batter before bed, leave it to sit on the counter, clean everything up, and simply mix in the eggs and the baking soda in the morning.
If possible, I think you are better off making these in a flat, shallow waffle iron, rather than a deep Belgian-style one. They are at their absolute best the second they are popped out of the iron, so I generally encourage people to eat them as they become available, but if you want everyone to sit down together, you can hold them in a warm oven right on the oven rack, but don't over lap them or they will get soggy. All waffle irons are different, but I find this makes about 10 waffles, which is perfect for 5 people. If you don't need that many all at once, the batter keeps for a couple of days in the fridge. Alternately, you can cook them all up and flash freeze them on a cookie sheet, then put them into a Ziploc bag and tuck them into the freezer for a weekday morning when you need a little extra love. To reheat, simply pop them in the toaster.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Marion Cunningham's Breakfast Book, who adapted it from Fannie Farmer
Yield: About 10 waffles
1/2 cup warm water (105-110 degrees)
1 packet (1/4 ounce, 7 grams, 2 1/4 tsp) dry active or instant yeast
2 cups milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp baking soda
The night before you want to serve the waffles, put on your pajamas and pour yourself a drink.
Put the warm water in the bottom of a very large bowl and sprinkle over the yeast. Set aside.
Put the butter and milk into a sauce pan and heat over medium-low until the butter is melted and the mixture is 105-110 degrees. If you take it too far, don't panic! Just let it cool again until it is closer to the right temperature.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar.
Add the dry ingredients and the buttery milk mixture to the bowl with the yeast and water. Alternate back and forth between the wet and dry ingredients, whisking vigorously to minimise lumps.
Cover with plastic wrap and leave on the counter over night.
In the morning, whisk in the eggs and baking soda.
Turn on your waffle iron, choosing a setting that is on the dark and crispy side. Cook the waffles, buttering or oiling lightly between waffles.
Raspberry Ripple Cream
Adapted from Food52, who adapted it from Nigel Slater
1/2 pint of the very best raspberries you can find
1 cup (small carton) very cold whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1-2 tbs sugar (powdered, superfine, regular. It really doesn't matter)
1/4 cup (or more) good quality, full fat, plain yogurt (optional)
Mash the raspberries in a bowl with a fork until they are 'swirl-able.'
Whip cream to soft peaks.
Add the vanilla and sugar to the cream. Fold in the yogurt if you are using it. Continue whipping to desired thickness.
Very gently fold the raspberries into the cream. Don't go crazy--you want deep, magenta streaks and pockets of juicy berry within the white cream cloud.