Chocolate Waffles

My friend Elise wrote about waffles the other day, linking to my site because we are Waffle Sisters (and Gelato Sisters, Typewriter Sisters…basically, we’re sisters), and I realized I haven’t posted here in a very long time.  Whoops.

Anyway!  So.  Waffles.

Back in my younger years, we had this great waffle maker made by Black & Decker.  I have vivid memories of that waffle maker, including the little rectangular indicator light.  Fast-forward to now and everything seems to be Belgian waffles.  I don’t have anything against Belgian waffles, per se, but I still prefer the regular, shallow waffles.

I’d had my eye on this waffle maker for a while and finally bought it at the end of February (after much waffle conversation with Elise, of course).  It’s basically the same kind as the one from my childhood, but newer.  There are some differences, some which may just be due to the way it’s manufactured now and some that might be me mis-remembering the waffle maker in the first place.  The metal is way more shiny than I remember it, but maybe that was due to it losing its luster over time?  The unit seems lighter, too, but maybe because as a wee one, everything was heavier.  In any case, the best feature is the fact that the plates come off and can be washed in the sink.  I don’t really care that the plates can flip over to be a griddle, although I have tried the device as a quesadilla maker and it works just fine for that, too.

For traditional waffles, I’ve tried one recipe (essential raised waffles) and one mix (generic Krusteaz), and both work well.  My raised waffles didn’t raise very much, which was partially expected (and mentioned in the recipe), but had a nice flavor, if you like your waffles yeast-y.  The mix is what I expected and I have no issue continuing to use it.  Both waffles crisp up well, freeze well, and re-heat well (at least in a toaster oven).

On the savory side, I’ve made savory cornmeal waffles (#4 in this list).  Those were pretty tasty, too, and the cornmeal adds extra crunchiness to the waffles.

So, where do chocolate waffles come in? Not that there really needs to be a reason, but it all stemmed from ice cream.  We bought ice cream sandwiches the other day and RJ, my other half, was miffed that they were so small.  I was mock indignant one night when he ate two of them and we started calling it the queen sized ice cream sandwich and that he really wanted a California king sized ice cream sandwich, as if they were like mattresses.  That got me thinking, what would be one way to make a “naturally” large ice cream sandwich?  Waffles!  Namely, chocolate waffles!

I did a brief search for chocolate waffle recipes and settled on this one from Alton Brown and made them this morning.  The verdict?  They’re okay.  They aren’t terribly chocolate flavored, to be honest.  Most of the chocolate flavor comes from the chocolate chips.  This could be my issue, though, as I’m still getting over a cold and my ability to smell and taste were offline for a couple days (incidentally, it’s incredibly difficult to feel satisfied after a meal when you can’t actually taste it) and it seems to be mostly back, but maybe not.

The batter was pretty thick, as evidenced by this image:

chocolate waffle batter

I do like that the recipe has weight measurements – I prefer to measure by weight if at all possible.  I used Ghirardelli cocoa powder since that was on hand.  I’m not sure if it was very “fresh,” so that could have added to the flavor issue, too.

The batter doesn’t really spread, which isn’t a surprise, until you put the waffle maker lid down.  It browns up nicely, though.

chocolate waffles – done

I think if I make this again, I’d use a darker cocoa.  A Dutch-process might work (and may add a slightly different flavor), or perhaps a black cocoa to get the aesthetic needed for ice cream sandwiches.

The third batch puffed up a great deal and overflowed the waffle maker, so I’m not sure how crispy that will end up being.  The real proof will be whether or not sandwiching some vanilla ice cream between two chocolate waffles will achieve the desired large ice cream sandwich effect, but I’m not terribly hopeful unless the chocolate flavor somehow comes out more.

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Well, that was short-lived

I’m a bit embarrassed that I managed to blog for, like, a month in 2012.  Ah, well, I’ve always had an odd relationship with blogging.  The spam comments have died down quite a bit, though, so we’ll see how long that lasts as I attempt to start up again.

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Baking Roundup – October 2012

Other than making progress on the baking cookbook challenge, I did do some other baking in October.  Here’s a quick roundup.

Featuring: kale chips, Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies, lemon poppy seed bread, and bacon and egg muffins.

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It didn’t take long for the spam comments to start. >_>  I’ve enabled a math captcha.  Yay, maf!

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[CC – TWSBB] Nuts About Bananas

Ahh, bananas, such a fickle food.  They start out green, seem to take forever to get ripe and yellow, and then go brown in a blink of an eye.  I always buy a bunch with the hopes that I’ll eat one a day or something.  It never seems to work out.









Thus begins the cookbook challenge.

For the cookbook challenge, I’d intended to go through the recipes from the first to the last.  Since I had an immediate need to use up some bananas, I decided to see what recipes the book has.  It has two. :o

The first is a Banana-Nut Bread, the second is for Banana-Walnut Muffins.  The recipes are nearly identical.

Banana-Nut Bread ingredients: unsalted butter, sugar, bananas, 3 eggs, buttermilk, flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and nuts (recommendations: walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts)

Banana-Walnut Muffins ingredients: flour, sugar, walnuts, baking soda, salt, walnut or canola oil, 1 egg, bananas, and buttermilk

Yeah, not really sure why there’s a difference.  The loaf has a bit more spice and the muffins are a little more liquid. I didn’t have any buttermilk on hand, and I hate buying it because I can’t ever buy it in the exact quantity I need.  I did, however, have buttermilk powder, so I used that.

In any case, both recipes called for 2-3 very ripe bananas.  Given I had 5, I used 2.5 per recipe.

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Sausage Balls!

Sausage balls.  Heart attack in ball form.  Comfort food.

My mother used to make sausage balls when I was a kid growing up in Oklahoma.  We…didn’t eat the best in those days.  I recall many meals that involved spam and ramen. ;)  Anyway.  Sausage balls.  So tasty, but so bad for you.

I only make these a couple times a year, if that.  At work, we’ve taken to using “Sausage Balls!” as a sort of expletive.  We’re weird like that.

You can find many recipes out there, but the gist of it looks like this.

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In Which I Give Myself a Baking Challenge

I have a lot of cookbooks, but I still almost always look online for recipes first.  So, I decided I should really use my cookbooks.

A couple years ago, a friend of mine gave me The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book: The Essential Recipe Collection for Today’s Home Baker.  It’s one of the smaller cookbooks I have, so I’ve given myself the following challenge:

Make everything in the book.

If I can count correctly, there are 39 recipes for Cookies & Bars; 45 recipes for Muffins & Quick Breads; 19 recipes for Coffee Cakes, Scones & Biscuits; 46 recipes for Cakes & Tortes; 44 recipes for Pies & Tarts; 22 recipes for Yeasted Breads; 20 recipes for Fruit Desserts; and 15 recipes for Custards & Egg Dishes.  That’s a total of 250 recipes.  Yeesh.

We’ll see how much I have to modify.  I’m not going to buy any special pans if I can help it – I have enough of those already.  I might have to substitute some ingredients if there are any that use ingredients I really don’t like.

I’m not sure how long it will take me to get through the book, and I’ll be doing other recipes as well, but stay tuned for pictures and commentary. :)

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I’ve decided to remove my original website and content and just have a simple blog.  My hobbies, which are many, will be the focus.  I like to bake, knit, dabble in fandom, play video games, and whatever else suits my fancy.  Perhaps you’ll find it interesting, perhaps not.

Regardless, welcome. :)

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