Monday, 21 February 2011

Waffle, waffle, waffle

I bought a waffle making machine from Lidl's a couple of weeks ago and then found myself feeling ridiculously excited at the prospect of making waffles. I even prised the box open when I got back to the car to see if it contained a recipe book. It did - so I skimmed it then went off to Asda to buy a few key ingredients. As it happened, the same day, I bought myself my very first Wii Fit. Two very exciting purchases in one day - I was almost giddy with it!

I was very good, though, and left both purchases in their boxes until after I had collected the girls from school. On the school run, I met up with one of my eldest's friends, his little sister and his dad and invited them round to try out our new toys. So whilst the big kids amused themselves with the wonder that is Wii Fit, I invited the two year old sister into the kitchen to see if she wanted to help me try out my new waffle machine. I have never met a small child who would pass up the opportunity to weadle a wooden spoon in the name of cake making so we washed her hands and adorned her with an appropriately small apron.

We measured and mixed our way through a simple waffle recipe then switched on the machine and got cooking. Soon all the children were sat around the kitchen table, tucking into waffles and cream, their Wii Fit efforts thwarted temporarily by the irresistible smell of freshly cooked waffles. I bagged up a few spare ones for the two year old to take home to show her mum what she'd been making and the others I stuck in toastie bags the next morning for the girls to have for breakfast.

The girls always like to have a bakery type product for breakfast rather than cereal. This may be brioche, fruit bread, pancakes, crumpets or toast. Having purchased the waffle maker I saw a huge range of breakfast products stretching before me so I quickly set about trying out the recipes that came with it and modifying to suit my own whims.

My first thought was that I would try the pumpkin waffle recipe from the leaflet as I had a bit of pumpkin left in the fridge in desperate need to using up but on getting part way through the recipe I discovered that the pumpkin had in fact gone past its best and was only fit for the compost bin. Instead, I decided that apple puree would do just as well so I retrieved a few wrinkly apples from storages and made the substitution. It worked beautifully.

Apple Waffles

3 apples (weighing about 250g)
2 eggs
80g light brown sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
100g flour

Peel, core & chop the apples then cook with a little water until soft & fluffy. Beat the eggs with the sugar, lemon juice, honey & cinnamon then add the apple puree and then then flour. Dollop the mixture into a hot, greased waffle machine in suitable amounts and cook for about 3 minutes until golden brown.

A few days later I remembered I had pumpkin puree in the freezer that I had earmarked for making pumpkin pancakes but instead I thawed out and made into pumpkin waffles. These aren't particularly sweet and need to be accompanied with something. My youngest likes her's spread with homemade raspberry jam.

Pumpkin Waffles

250g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
1 tsp mixed spice
55g light brown sugar
3 eggs
284 ml carton buttermilk
175 g pumpkin puree

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, bicarb and spice. In another bowl, mix together the sugar, egg, milk, pumpkin and oil. Make a well in the centre of the flour and gradually mix in the wet ingredients until a batter forms. Dollop the mixture into a hot, greased waffle machine in suitable amounts and cook for about 3 minutes until golden brown.

There was also a recipe in the booklet for potato waffles. Aha, I thought, that could be a great way to process & preserve our lovely potatoes in the summer to use from the freezer at this time of year when the potatoes are beginning to sprout again. So I gave the recipe a go, surprised that it used raw grated potato rather than cooked mashed potato. Now, I don't know whether it was because I started with a poor quality spud or whether it was the recipe but the result was disgusting and quite ruined our dinner. So the next time I had a bit of mashed potato left over I tried again with the potato waffle idea and this time I created something much more reminiscent of a shop bought waffle, which pleased the girls no end.

Potato Waffles

800g mashed potato
160g plain flour
1 egg

Mix together the ingredients until it forms a sticky dough. Dollop the mixture into a hot, greased waffle machine in suitable amounts and cook for about 3 minutes until golden brown.

And so the waffle maker's glory lives on. About once a week I cook up a batch of waffles, freezing the excess. Then in the mornings I pop them into the toaster (from frozen) via a toastie bag and the girls tuck into to their breakfast. And with a different recipe ever week they are not bored yet and nor am I... I still have looks of ideas to try.

1 comment:

  1. I got one for my birthday and I think waffles are wonderful too! They are great with homemade cherry or blueberry sauce and the potato ones are a brilliant way of getting potatoes into Max (he isn't usually keen on them). Our recipe uses mashed potatoes (I actually blend them to make them extra smooth) and a pinch of cinnamon (very American). Max likes to make mini-sandwiches out of the little heart shaped segments filled with sliced sausages and broccoli for example. Have fun with yours!!!