Wednesday, 10 July 2013

German Waffles - Das ist sehr gut ya!!!

German Waffles - Das ist sehr gut ya!!!
10 July 2013

I am not the most adventurous chef, cook or baker.  In fact not at all.  Though I must confess that though I don’t particularly enjoy cooking and baking, I thoroughly enjoy EATING things that have been cooked and baked.  I have perfected a few dishes, and my repertoire is ever growing.

Every single weekend, we enjoy a different type of breakfast, to have a break from the cereal, toast or rusk routine of the week days.  These are the kids absolute favourites, and they normally ask me on a Friday already what breakfast treat we’re having on the weekend.  It usually varies between pancakes, flap jacks and waffles.  And of all of those, waffles are by far the most popular, probably because very few other meals allow you to have ice-cream with your breakfast.  The kids also always choose waffles as their birthday breakfast treat.  For Christmas my mom bought Amber a little donut maker, and this is super cute and makes really yummy donuts.  Though they are a little bit tricky to make in terms of getting them out of the machine, and you have to make absolute heaps to even come close to filling Luke.  He’s a bit of a bottomless pit.

Last week we enjoyed a two night get-away at Kleinbaai with as many of the Lombard clan as we could assemble for a mid-week breather.  Naturally eating figured large on our agenda.  We were on holiday after all.  Why would it not?  My mom had brought along her little German waffle iron set that she had bought from the local church market/fete in Tulbagh.  And having sampled these delicious delicacies a few weeks earlier, when we did a grand farewell for my cousin Adam, who’s gone to Istanbul, I saw an opportunity to increase me repertoire.  And on a shopping excursion to the metropolis that is Gansbaai (the nearest little village to Kleinbaai), we did a spot of browsing at an antique shop.  And low and behold, what should we find?  A German waffle mould – it was fate.  I simply had to have it.  It clearly was a sign.

My stepsister, Katarina, was the master chef and shared her knowledge with me.  They are delectable.  And we stood very socially chatting and laughing in the kitchen, whilst making them.  Naturally the family was charmed with our efforts and suitably impressed.  Though we had quite a piggy night on that occasion.  My aunt Bettie had made some killer chocolate fudge (to-die-for!), Oupa Willem shared two big slabs of Cadbury’s Bubbles chocolate and Ouma Helene had brought out some of their anniversary choccie stash too.  By the time the waffles came out, we somehow managed to wolf those down with remarkable ease too.

And so last night, I indulged and made some for us at home.  It was a rip roaring success and they came out beautifully.  And tasted even better than they looked.  In fact, I must confess to feeling very domestic-goddess-ish when I saw them all piled up on a plate.  Never mind that, I was super impressed with myself.  I did it!  It was very much a “Ta-Da” moment!

I will include the recipe that my mom wrote down for me:

German Waffles
  • 2 large eggs – I never pay attention to size.  An egg is an egg, is an egg.  Unless we’re talking ostrich, in which case I’ll concede to size.
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar – I’m assuming this is castor sugar?  Either which way, it’s what I used.
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 cup flour – I’m assuming self-raising.  Is there really any other kind?  Who uses cake flour? 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

I have never used a sieve when it comes to dry ingredients.  Duh!  That’s why you use a beater, to get all the lumps out.  Nor have I ever separated dry ingredients from wet ingredients and mixed them separately.  I am a firm believer of the “all-in-on-dish” school of thought, and simply beat the whole happy lot together at once.  Perfect!

In a medium sized pot, I heat the oil.  I put the oil in about one and a half centimetres deep.  Enough to cover the little waffle mould.  My advice would be to be fully ready, with a few plates, lined with paper towel, as they are slightly oily and need to be drained properly.  Also have on hand a butter knife, to help ease the waffles off the waffle iron, and a big draining spoon (you know those big ones with holes in them).  The big spoon, is only used if the batter comes right off the mould and you have to fish your waffle out of the oil.

Making the waffles is quite a hands-on and fast operation.  And so until you’ve got the hang of it, I would suggest you only use one mould at a time, until you’ve got your rhythm going.  Before you start, put your waffle mould in the hot oil to heat it up.  I think this is rather important, because it helps to make the raw batter stick to the waffle moulds immediately.  However, be sure to shake of any excess oil, as the batter will simply run off the iron, if there is too much oil on it.

Once your mould is hot, take it out of the oil, shake off the excess and dip it into the batter, about half the depth of the mould, not covering it completely.  It has to rise once you dip it in the oil, and if the batter covers the whole mould, you won’t be able to successfully get the cooked waffle off again.  Once you’ve dipped it into the batter, dip it into the hot oil, and watch a miracle.  These only take a few seconds to do.  And once you’ve got the beautiful golden colour, you simply lift your mould out of the oil, use the butter knife to help ease the waffle off, and start all over again.  You only need to warm your mould up in advance for the first waffle, thereafter, there is no need to dip it in the oil again before you dip it into the batter.  So simply remove the cooked waffle from the mould, dip into the batter once more, dip into the hot oil and VOILA!

BTW – rule of thumb.  The first waffle always flops.  This is expected, so do not get discouraged.  You’ll get the hang of it quickly.  This first-flop rule also applies to pancakes, flap jacks and waffles.  In fact, it even applies to Amber’s little donuts too.  I suspect it’s got to do with getting the temperature right and coating the pan, etc. for the first batch.

I suggest that you don’t stack them on top of each other unless they’ve cooled down.  For extra effect and domestic-goddess brownie points, sprinkle the finished products/waffles with icing sugar.  Designer!!!  This does however mean that you can never sneak one, as you get coated in icing sugar powder each time.  A dead give-away.

I’ve included some pics of my waffle iron moulds.  I’m not sure where you would buy them new.  However, if you do a bit of scratching around in an antique shop, second hand shop, charity shop etc. you’ll be sure to find one or two.  On Monday I put my theory to the test and found a mould in an antique shop just up the road.  Such a cool find, at a mere R15.  There are many patterns out there and they just look so gorgeous.

I urge you to unleash your inner-goddess and give making these a bash.  It is just so worthwhile.
Das ist sehr gut ya!  WUNDERBAR!!!  Ich liebe Deutsch Waffeln.  True story.

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The ingredients - my very patient Grantie held up a blanket so that the background wouldn't be too busy.  Speaking of cooking - he thinks I'm cooked in the head.  He's probably not that far off.

Most basic ingredients ever!

My little waffle iron moulds - they might look a bit dodgy and old, but I washed them, scrubbed them, boiled them and then for extra good measure put them through the dishwasher

The patterns they make are simply beautiful!  My mom has four different moulds - each making awesome shapes.

A small little batch, sans the Icing Sugar

Sooo much nicer with the Icing Sugar sprinkled on the top - I put a teaspoon full in a tea strainer and simply banged it on the side to form a icing sugar avalanche

They do look gorgeous!  Though I must confess that the more I look at them, the more the round shapes look like little steering wheels to me.  It's clear that I'm married to a petrolhead.  I'm assuming it's catching.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I have to say that I am going to comb Benoni for these waffle iron moulds! I tasted the real thing at Kleinbaai and was VERY impressed! Every home should have some!