Waffles, they are versatile dessert or snack easily found throughout the world.
The difference from country to country can be the recipe and appearance of the waffle, the texture and taste can also vary too. Liege Waffles, Brussels Waffles, Belgium Waffles, Stroopwaffles, Scandinavian Waffles and Hong Kong Waffles are a just a few varieties around the place. In Amsterdam I discovered in a few places the waffles were premade, ready to go and coated with colourful hard icing. In London we went to a place where a dough was molded into the iron. When I was in Paris, waffles were easily found from street vendors and they were very cheap. The waffle was cooked right in front of me, they poured a liquid batter directly into a rotating waffle machine.
When I finally decided to buy a waffle iron, I did loads of research into the different styles available on the market. I wanted one that would last a long period of time and having observed that most cafes use waffle irons with a rotation function I wanted something very similar.
The household brands such as Cuisinart and Breville have basic home models, easily purchased from a local shop for under $50.00. I struggled to find other models in Perth and started to browse online website stores. There are certainly many styles and sizes available, I counted 60 brands on Amazon.com alone. I looked into two professional home models which were the Waring Pro Stainless Steel Waffle Maker and the Kitchen Aid Pro Line Series Waffle Baker. Waffle Irons are generally heavy items and I soon discovered that anything purchased online was going to incur a very high shipping cost here in Perth.
Comparing the Professional Home Waffle Iron Models
I found a traditional style cooking iron called the Nordic Ware Belgian Waffler Iron, something a little different than the tabletop electric appliances. The Nordic model is basically two square plates with the honeycomb grove pattern and it is heated over a stove (gas or electric) or a camping fire. The waffle iron makes 4 square waffles in one cooking period.
The Nordic Ware Belgian Waffle Iron
Features of the Nordic Ware Belgian Waffler ($58.00)
– The iron makes four square sized waffles.
– Cast aluminum construction for even heating
– Nonstick coated for quick release and easy cleanup
– 5 year warranty
– 4 pounds shipping weight
– 17 x 8 x 2 inches ; 2.7 pounds
The Nordic Ware Belgian Waffler seemed to tick off the boxes. It was only 2.7 pounds in weight and rotatable during cooking! I was slightly hesitant with the thought that I would be 100% in control of cooking the waffles and there was no convenient automated timer. I purchased the iron on Amazon.com and it arrived 5 weeks later via snail mail.
The waffle iron really did not need as much practice as I first thought and on cooking my third batch I think I had everything sorted.
Review of the Nordic Ware Belgian Waffler
Positives of the Nordic Ware Belgian Waffler
– Easy to store, fits in the cupboard with the pots and pans
– Easy to clean afterwards
– Can be used for camping over a fire
– Ability to flip the waffle iron over for even cooking on both sides of the waffle, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside
– Ability to control the cooking conditions which makes incredible waffles
– A cheap alternative to the commercial waffle iron machines which are 3 times the price
– Cooks on a gas stove or electric hot plate
– Detailed instructions and waffle recipes are provided
– Made in the U.S.A
Cons of the Nordic Ware Belgian Waffler
– There is no timer to alert you when the best time to rotate the iron and when cooking is finished. This simply means you’ll have to work it out yourself.
– High shipping costs, shop around
Belgium Waffle Recipe
I used the Belgium Waffle recipe that came with the waffle iron. I was a little surprised to learn that the Belgium waffle is a US adaption of the Brussels waffle.
The yeast and the beating of the eggs whites make the waffle texture light and fluffy. The recipe is perfect for a savoury breakfast waffle such as Bacon and Maple Syrup.
1 pkg dry yeast
2 cups lukewarm milk
4 eggs separated
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
Sprinkle yeast over luke warm milk; stir to dissolve. Wait for the yeast to activate, clumps will rise in the milk.
Beat egg yolks in a separate bowl and add to the yeast mixture with vanilla.
Sift together flour, salt and sugar; add to the yeast mixture.
Stir in melted butter and combine thoroughly.
Beat the egg whites until stiff in a clean bowl; carefully fold into yeast batter.
Let mixture stand in a warm place about 45 minutes for the yeast to do its work, it should double in size.
Heat the waffler. Bake as directed using 1 1/4 cups of batter for each waffle.
I use the plain flour variety
It is very important to beat the egg whites to a stiff consistency as this contributes to the fluffiness of the waffle.
Oiling the iron to avoid the waffle sticking is vital
If I find one side of the waffle soft I will put it back with the open plate so that it becomes a little more crisp
The waffle needs to cool and it is not the best to not place in a container straight away as they may go soggy. I normally let them cool down on a cooling rack. I will place in the fridge after a few hours.
To reheat again simply use a toaster or crepe pan. I find the crepe pan works really well, the waffles taste as if they have come out of the waffle iron.
I love that you can create many varieties and mix toppings depending on your tastes or even mood and I do not think I will never grow tired of having a waffle for this very reason.
For me, my favourite waffle is simply topped with a scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (from Gelare), vanilla or a coffee flavoured ice cream, dollop of cream and a drizzling of maple syrup.
You could try;
- Bacon and maple syrup
- Melted dark chocolate, also you can leave it in the fridge and the chocolate will harden again.
- Cream, Ice cream, maple syrup and chocolate sauce
- Bananas and cream
Waffles made using the Nordic Waffle Iron
The other day I was in the Re Store in Northbridge and noticed they also stock two waffle irons and one is the Nordic brand! The cost is about the same as purchasing online and the advantage is you can make waffles straight away and not have to wait!