Crispy Yeasted Waffles with Cocoa Whipped Cream

yeasty waffle

Yeast isn’t sexy. I get that. But it will work to give you a better batter. Yeast makes bread happen. It improves cinnamon rolls and at times, cake. This time, yeast is here to step up your waffle game.

Embrace the yeast.

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This is another recipe from Aida Mollenkamp’s “Keys to the Kitchen” and it’s something new for us. I’d never added yeast to a waffle, but now I know it will offer up the crispiest waffle you can make at home. I’ll admit the batter is a bit fussy in the beginning, but we own a thermometer and I went along with the instructions to heat milk to a certain temperature. After that, everything’s simple. Mix nearly everything and then let the batter hang out in the fridge overnight.

That’s kind of my favorite part. By morning, most of your work is already done, and you’ll feel like you’ve treated yourself. It’s good to be good to yourself. In the morning, brew some coffee, heat your waffle iron and go.

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At first taste, you’ll notice these waffles are crisp, wonderfully crisp. They may also taste a little salty. You can reduce the amount of salt in the batter slightly or realize the flavors will be just right once your waffle is dressed up with maple syrup, berries, and cream. Salty and sweet. It’s part of the appeal, and I’m not alone here. Let it be.

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crispy yeasted waffles with cocoa whipped cream

This overnight batter actually makes things easier. Most of the work is done the night before, and then in the morning you basically heat your waffle iron and go. These are the crispiest waffles we’ve ever made, and the chocolate-infused whipped cream is such a treat.

for the waffles:

2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast ( 2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons kosher salt
maple syrup, for serving
1 1/2 cups fresh (rasp)berries, for serving

for the whipped cream:

1 cup heavy cream, cold
2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Heat the milk in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until it reaches between 100 and 115 degrees, about 5 minutes. Pour the milk into a small bowl, and stir in the sugar and yeast. Let it sit until little bubbles dot the mixture, about 5 minutes.

Place the flour in a large bowl, and add the milk mixture, butter, and vanilla. Whisk until combined and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. The batter will double in size.

In the morning, remove the batter from the fridge and whisk in the eggs and salt until just incorporated. Let batter hang out on the counter at room temperature while the waffle iron heats up, at least 15 minutes. I set my waffle iron very close to high for best results. Know your machine.

Grease the waffle iron and ladle in about 1/2 cup of batter. Close the iron and cook waffle until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Repeat with the rest of the batter. Serve waffles immediately or spread them out on a baking sheet and keep warm in a 200-degree oven.

Meanwhile, make the whipped cream. Add the heavy cream, cocoa powder, sugar, and vanilla extract to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on low speed until the cream smooths out, about 30 seconds, then gradually increase the speed, up to medium-high, until medium peaks form, about 1 minute.

Serves waffles with maple syrup, whipped cream, and fresh berries.

Makes 8 to 12 waffles (depending on your waffle iron). Adapted from “Keys to the Kitchen” by Aida Mollenkamp.
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