Finally, an excuse to break out one of the lesser-used appliances gracing the highest cabinet in our kitchen, the waffle iron. It was the first time my boyfriend and I used it together, and the last.
Instead of going the easy route suggested by said boyfriend and buying a pre-boxed waffle mix at the store, I wanted to make them from scratch. For me, buying the boxed stuff always feels like a cop out, until I’m pulling my hair out when the Pinterest recipe I dug up doesn’t go as smoothly as promised. And this turned out to be one of those instances.
With some Belgian roots in my heritage, and even a couple relatives still living there, I wanted to try to make some authentic Belgian waffles. Unfortunately, my mom and grandma were unable to unearth our relatives’ recipe, so I settled for one I found on the internet from A Taste of Home. Its headline declares it a ‘True Belgian Waffles Recipe‘ and, based on its complexity, I am inclined to believe in its authenticity, however, I did find some small differences across my research. I was particularly intrigued by an overnight recipe involving yeast, but knew that without a true Belgian Waffle maker it would not be worth the time and effort.
The recipe itself wasn’t difficult to follow, instead it was my inexperience with separating eggs and beating the whites that made this an ‘angry recipe’ as my boyfriend likes to call it. (Angry recipes are recipes that are harder than I originally anticipate, therefore making me frustrated when I get stuck or take longer than planned or why the hell does mine look nothing like the picture.) Everything became much clearer once I came to the realization that you can’t beat egg whites by hand with the tiny whisk you bought for like four dollars at Home Goods. Once I whipped out the hand mixer, it was smooth sailing. And I only wasted two eggs…
Once the batter was nicely mixed with the elusive egg white fluff folded in, it was time for me to face the second half of the battle, the waffle iron itself. My boyfriend warned me that it was ‘messy’ before I began but nothing could prepare me for the infuriating amount of batter that oozed and leaked from all sides and down the back throughout the process. The brand name ‘Rival’ taunted me with every close as the thing literally rivaled my patience. The recipe yielded more waffles than I cared to make, and a large puddle of batter on my counter surrounding the iron.
In the end, I’m not sure it was worth all the trouble to simply avoid purchasing a boxed mix. Though, I think my boyfriend may disagree. And to be fair, I think having a better waffle iron would have made a world of difference. Belgian Waffles are supposed to be big and fluffy, with just enough of a crunch to the outside, but the Rival just wasn’t designed for that type of complexity. However flat, the waffles were very good and slightly sweet. They were closer to spongy than fluffy, but the effort of the egg whipping wasn’t completely lost, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself. They also reheated relatively well, since this recipe makes A LOT of waffles, especially when the constraints of the waffle iron produced them in a smaller size than originally intended. They were sweet enough, in fact, that when I heated them up plain on a paper towel in the microwave for a grab-and go-breakfast the next morning, my boyfriend asked if I put syrup on them. Oh, and we threw away the waffle iron, Happy National Waffle Iron Day!