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How to Make Great Belgian Waffles

There is nothing like the taste of pure maple syrup.  It just happens to be maple syrup time in my neck of the woods, so I am actively looking for good ways to use that liquid gold in cooking.  Yes, we like to have it over pancakes and oatmeal (and sometimes in our coffee as well!).  I also have a really good way of using maple syrup when making salmon (more to come on that later).  But, in my humble opinion, the best way to enjoy maple syrup is with waffles… Belgian waffles to be specific.

Belgian waffles have extra deep pockets, great for holding copious amounts of maple syrup, if that is what you are in to.  That, with a little butter is great for me.  But, Belgian waffles can be a great canvas for experimenting with all kinds of toppings.  You can have fresh fruit and icing sugar, or ice cream and strawberry jam, or even whipped cream and chocolate sauce!  Other toppings to try are bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, fruit syrups, hot fudge, honey, cherry sauce, caramel sauce, chocolate chips, yogurt, cinnamon sugar, slivered almonds, and pecans.  However, if this is not your cup of tea you could try more savory toppings like melted cheeses, bacon, sour cream, or peanut butter.

A quick and easy way to make delicious Belgian waffles is to use a waffle iron.  The waffles that are made fresh using waffle makers are far superior to the frozen ones you get from the supermarket.  There are several waffle makers in the marketplace right now, some that flip and some that don’t.

Waffles To Flip For

Presto 03510 FlipSide Belgian Waffle MakerIf you are in the market for a waffle maker that can flip, one good choice for the home is the Presto 03510 FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker.

This waffle maker will make a round, 7-inch Belgian waffle that can be divided into four sections easily.  The unique feature on this machine is the flipping mechanism.  The entire cooking assembly rotates 180 degrees around its base.  Basically, all you have to do is pour the batter into the machine on one side, close the top and rotate the whole thing to the other side so that the batter fully coats both non-stick plates.  You then leave it to cook for the desired time (a timer is included on the unit).

Many reviewers of this machine praised it’s ability to cook waffles with a crisp exterior and a light and fluffy interior.  It reminded them of the kind of waffles that you get at bed and breakfasts.  People mentioned that the unit was simple to use and easy to clean.  They also liked the way the sides folded up for compact storage.

No Flip Waffles

VillaWare V2002 UNO  Belgian Waffler - Round

If you prefer to use a waffle maker that does not flip, a good one to check out is the VillaWare V2002 UNO Belgian Waffler – Round.

This one also makes round Belgian waffles that are divided into four sections.  There is a 7-setting browning control gauge and on/ready lights on the front of the machine.  There is also an audible beep, that sounds both when the machine is ready to use and then when the cooking is done, great if your attention is on other things in the kitchen.  The unit is designed with a generous overflow area to help eliminate spillage.  The non-stick plates make clean up very easy, and the unit can be stored on its end to minimize space issues.  There is also a place to wrap the cord on the bottom of the machine.

Reviews of this waffle iron have noted that it works very quickly to produce tasty Belgian waffles.  This is good if you are making waffles for a crowd.  Additionally, reviewers have really been impressed with the ease of clean up.  All you have to do is use a paper towel and it’s done.  A number of people bought this waffle maker on the advice of Alton Brown of “Good Eats.”  [NOTE: This was Alton’s preferred waffle iron in his “Wonderous Waffles” episode.]

Waffle Tips

If you are planning to make waffles in a waffle iron there are a few tips that you can follow that will help to ensure you great results:

– When making your own batter, make sure your wet ingredients are as close to room temperature as possible, before adding them to the dry ingredients.

Do not overmix your waffle batter.  Your waffles will turn out dense and tough.  It is perfectly ok to leave some lumps in the batter.

– Once your waffle iron is heated and ready for use, use a non-stick spray or brush on some butter before adding the batter to aid in the release of the waffle.

– After adding the batter, do not open the waffle maker for at least 2 – 2.5 minutes.  If you do, you will have a gooey mess on your hands.

For crispy waffles, hotter temperature settings tend to yield the best results.  Alternatively, you can leave the waffle in longer than usual.

If you made too many waffles, the best way to keep them is to freeze them, separated by pieces of waxed paper.  When you want one, just heat it up in the toaster or toaster oven.  A very good time-saver for weekday mornings!

Waffle Extras

Finding a great waffle batter was a prime concern for a lot of reviewers.  If you want to try one that has gotten rave reviews, try the Golden Malted Pancake & Waffle Flour, Original, 33-Ounce Cans (Pack of 3).

Golden Malted Pancake & Waffle Flour, Original, 33-Ounce Cans (Pack of 3)

If you want to make waffles that are easy to fill with lots of toppings and are especially good for dessert waffles, try the VillaWare 2007 UNO Series Waffle Boat Maker.

VillaWare 2007 UNO Series Waffle Boat Maker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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