Friday, September 20, 2013

Sourdough Surprises September: Carrot Cake Waffle Sundae

I laughed out loud when I read the Sourdough Surprises post revealing the dish for this month.
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)


Overnight Sponge

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
2 eggs
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.

Buttermilk Syrup

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.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Random Tidbits

    In keeping with my yo-yo exercising, I started a new exercise challenge - 30 Day Yoga Challenge from Erin Motz. What was that? Do I not hate yoga? Yup. Sure do. But I am actively trying to be a bit more flexible and none of the current routines in my rotation include much of anything that targets flexibility. I am also hoping that this challenge does not include a lot of Sun Salutations. I have realised that this really what I dislike. That plus all warrior poses and.. well, why list them all?

    I have had this link saved on my phone for months, waiting to share here. But since I compose more posts in my head than I actually put here, it has just been languishing.  But forget that! Isn't this cool? Each morning Nina Levy's sons are sent off to school with a superpowered napkin that she draws just for them. As I said, I have had this for months, April to be exact, so with the new school year, I am sure that there are some amazing napkins over on her blog to ooh and aah at. How would you feel to be the kid in her sons' class who just has a plain white napkin? Or none at all if you were my child?

    Speaking of school lunches, were you obsessed with character lunch boxes growing up? I can't remember all of my lunch boxes but I most certainly remember a purple Flintstones one. Check out these cool lunch boxes throughout history.

    And since we're talking about food, perhaps I should mention a few of the things that I have made lately. There's always a loaf of bread, but lately I have been making bread in my slow cooker. As if I could love my slow cooker any more. I am never turning my oven on again.

    OK. Let's not be hasty. Because I would certainly turn my oven on for these Cappucino Brownies. Had I known these brownies were going to be so delicious, I would have carefully snapped pictures. But I was in a hurry. I made them late one night for a friend and everything started to go wrong in the kitchen. This was the only one that I rescued and quickly took a pic of. I also made some mint brownies that night. Those were DELICIOUS. I will have to remake those just so that I can blog about them. I may have a pic or two but it just won't do them justice. 

    Now this entire last paragraph, I must have rewritten in my head a thousand times. But right now at 3 am, I have forgotten what the perfect spiel was. Anyway, I also made this Avocado & Caramel daiquiri. Sounds weird and crazy, right? Well yeah, I made it for a Crazy Ingredients Challenge and posted about it over on my new blog.

    At this point, it is hard to say why there's a new blog. After all, I completely suck at this one. Let's just say it made perfect sense in my head at 3 am. I do a lot of things at 3 am. This blog isn't going anywhere and as I continue to mull over what my presence on the internet should be, things will undoubtedly change. Perhaps, I will merge the two. Or perhaps I will become more focused and find the separate voices for each. We'll see. For now, it exists.