This month we are going to go really super easy on you! This month we are going to make pancakes and/or waffles!Ha! I find waffles and pancakes to be anything but easy. I'll admit that I do not have a lot of waffle and pancake experience (neither eating nor making). My mother never made either while I was growing up and I can't remember eating either before undergrad. I don't even have a memory of specifically eating them then but I am just going to assume that I probably tried pancakes at least once. I know I definitely did not go anywhere near the waffle maker in the dining hall.
I remember some years ago reaching for the waffle iron that an old roommate left and armed with a recipe from Good Eats, I was expecting some, well, good eats. Uhm. How does one even use a waffle maker? How do you know when they're finished? Yeah. I had to Google that. And it still was a disaster. Waffles stuck. Batter oozed. Things burned.
Two years ago I visited a friend and she made waffles for breakfast. They were great as the "bread" for my eggs (I cannot fathom pouring syrup over waffles or pancakes*) so I came home with the waffle bug again. This was right when I was first growing my starter. One weekend I made the most delicious and buttery sourdough waffles. I loved them so much that I invited a friend over for breakfast just so that I could make them again.
BUT. There is always a but. My waffles weren't crispy. They were delicious but soft. How on earth do you keep your waffles crispy? I read about keeping them warm in the oven but that did not work for me. I swear they were soft within seconds of taking them off the waffle iron. I read about using egg whites and cornstarch. Nope and nope.
Seriously, how do you do it? Give me your best waffle tips. Please.
I'm sure it's me though. It could even be partly waffle iron. I decided to brave waffles again for this challenge because I am little bit more afraid of pancakes.. I thought I'd go with a carrot cake waffle (lots of flavour!) and probably turn them into ice cream sandwiches dipped (or not) in chocolate.
That didn't quite work out. I would get into the mess that was the first six waffles but I am sure you can guess. But eventually I had tasty waffles, pineapple ice cream, a delicious buttermilk syrup and maraschino cherries that have been soaking in rum since October. And all of that equals waffle sundaes and/or happiness.
*(Side note: I posted on Facebook a couple weeks ago that though I loved sweet things (chocolate, ice cream, cake, cookies, ice cream, chocolate...), I could not pour syrup on waffles or pancakes. I was immediately ostracized. Only one person agreed with me (no surprise that he's one of my best friends). Once you start pouring syrup over things, it's dessert. I am not opposed to dessert for breakfast (I have had ice cream for breakfast A LOT) but I am opposed to dessert for breakfast and pretending that it's not dessert. Anyone else out there on the no syrup train?)
Sourdough Carrot Cake Waffle Sundaes
Carrot Cake Waffles (adapted from King Arthur's Classic Sourdough Waffles)
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup 166% sourdough starter, unfed
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons sugar
All of overnight sponge
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
In a large bowl combine all the ingredients for the overnight sponge, cover and leave at room temperature overnight or for at least 8 hours.
Plug in and heat waffle iron.
In a small bowl, beat eggs, oil and vanilla then add to overnight sponge. Add salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and stir until combined. Stir in baking soda, mixture will bubble. Quickly fold in carrots.
Cook according to manufacturer's directions on your waffle iron
Pineapple Ice Cream
I don't own an ice cream maker. I consider it the ultimate unitasker and my kitchen is too small to justify the purchase. I used a shortcut for this ice cream and I loved it!
8 oz whipped topping (e.g. Cool Whip)
14 oz condensed milk
20 oz crushed pineapples
Gently combine the whipped topping and condensed milk. Don't mix too much but try to make it as evenly mixed as possible. Freeze for 2 hours.
Stir in drained pineapples. Freeze until hardened or about 4 hours.
I found the recipe here on Tasty Kitchen and it's the first time that syrup has really worked for me. The only thing I did differently was to cook it for a few minutes after adding the baking soda so that I could get that beautiful colour. Really loved this!
Finally, assemble your sundae as you desire, sprinkle on some nuts (or even add them to your waffle batter. Maybe you like raisins in your carrot cake? Go for it!). Top with a rum soaked cherry. Devour.