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:
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.
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.