Monday, February 19, 2007

The Waffle Tests

A couple weeks ago on a whim we bought a Belgian Waffle Maker with a gift card from Crate & Barrel. We bought the Villaware Belgian Waffler Round. The compact size is really great for those of us with a small apartment kitchen & a lot of kitchen gadgets. The non-stick surface has proved easy to clean & get waffles out of. Then it came time to try recipes.

1. The Plain Belgian Waffle recipe from VillaWare - This is the recipe that came with the machine. Eggs, sugar, butter, milk, vanilla, flour, baking powder & salt were the ingredients. The recipe is a little fussy since you have to separate the eggs beating the yolks with the sugar before adding the rest of the wet goods & the dry goods. Then you have to beat the egg whites until the are stiff & fold them in. (Ok, ok I decided to beat the eggs by hand which took forever before resorting to the Kitchen Aid). This recipe made a nice waffle though we ended up substituting a little bread flour for the all purpose & they probably were a little heavier than should have been. The waffles were beautiful.
But this was no way to whip up a quick waffle breakfast.

2. Bisquick - This time we went the really quick route & used the recipe for waffles in the Bisquick box. They waffles were not crispy at all on the outside & might as well have just been pancakes. Quick but not the waffles we were looking for.

3. Bellegem Waffle Mix from William-Sonoma
Bellegem Waffle Mix
We picked this up the next weekend to see if a Belgian Waffle Mix would make any difference. All you need to add to this mix is warm water & melted butter. You are then supposed to let it sit for 15 minutes. (A long wait when you are hungry for a hot waffle). The 15 minutes didn't seem to do anything, we thought the mix might rise a little but nothing. I also added some frozen blueberries before pouring the mix into the waffle maker because we had them. The waffles came out pretty flat. Even though we filled the maker as high as usual they didn't seem to rise at all to fill the top so the didn't really brown properly. I also felt like the taste was pretty bland. We have enough of this left for 1.5 more batches so we'll probably try them again & see if we can add something to give them a little more umph.

Next time I think we will try the Alton Brown Belgian Waffle recipe...stay tuned.


gm said...

Oddly enough, I'm on the same sort of quest and was thinking of trying Alton's recipe. I recently (today in fact) tried the Malted Pancake & Waffle mix from WS and was fairly impressed with the results a crispy and airy version of a Belgian waffle. WS also has a recipe for the Yeasted Waffles which I've been dying to try out. Let us know how your next "experiment" goes!

Anonymous said...

My husband loves Belgian Waffles and I have 3 comments:

He just brought home the Bellegem mix and mine did rise as I expected - could it be your warm water wasn't the right temp to activate the yeast? He thought they were great, I think they're overpriced (I don't like waffles.)

Try Krusteaz brand - we used to have great luck with that.

But he claims the best he's ever had (including in Belgium): I accidently used the waffle mix as flour and made them from scratch.

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