Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Air waffles. The lightest & crunchiest waffles ever.


dr_justice
 Share

Recommended Posts

Here's a new take on an old favorite that has hardly seen any new innovation in like forever, the (belgian) waffle. 

 

Ah, belgian waffles. Crispy on the outside, and light, fluffy and moist on the inside.

 

Typically, to incorporate as much air as possible into the batter, recipes require you to use yeast or to whip egg whites stiff.

Some recipes even use beer instead of water.  I tried everything. But to me, there was never enough air.

 

Then I had an "a-ha" moment. Something so simple, actually, that far exceeded any results I’ve ever had with traditional techniques.

 

The secret?  Simply incorporate whipping cream into the batter and use a pressure cream whipper to pour the batter on your waffle iron.  

 

When done properly, these waffles are the lightest ever. They weight just about nothing. 

 

 

AIR WAFFLES

 

Step 1: Mix dry ingredients.

 

-  2 cups white unbleached flour

-  4 tbsp sugar (heaping)

-  1/2 tsp baking powder

-  1/2 tsp baking soda

-  1/2 tsp salt

 

Mix until evenly distributed.

 

Step 2: Mix liquids.

 

In a separate bowl, whip in together the eggs, milk, water and butter.

 

Ideally, the milk and water should be room temperature to avoid the melted butter from forming clumps when in contact with cold liquids, and you don't want to clog the pressure creamer.

 

- 250 ml milk  (room temp)

- 375 ml water (room temp)

- 60 ml melted butter.

- 3 eggs 

 

Mix well until smooth and even, then add...

- 375 ml whipping cream.

 

(note: I put the cream after the eggs have been beaten/mixed simply because I don't want to thicken it yet, but it makes little difference)

 

Incorporate liquids to dry, and mix until light and smooth, no lumps.

 

 

Step 4: Ready to go!

 

Put 500 ml of batter into your pressure creamer, and charge it with two (2)  N2O cartridges. Shake well (15-20 times).

 

Cook as usual - until no more steam comes from the waffle maker. Cook a bit more if you like extra crunchy.

 

 

Note 1: I took the pictures with the last batter I had from this morning's breakfast, and I managed to overcook it. They're usually not as dark, but you'll get the idea.

 

Note 2: In the 3rd picture, look at the outside texture of the waffle and notice the pattern of micro bubbles everywhere, kind of neat.

DSC_1624.JPG

DSC_1626.JPG

DSC_1635.JPG

DSC_1630.JPG

Edited by dr_justice (log)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's basically to avoid the batter collapsing while it's cooking.

 

This tends to happen if you use a siphon and the liquids you have are just water and milk.

 

When you put whipping cream into a siphon and pour it, it comes out big, light, fluffy and firm, which is the characteristic I wanted to preserve while cooking the waffles.

Edited by dr_justice (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had several theoretical objections, but decided to see how they played out in actual experimentation. Here is your recipe as I made it, converted into grams (and scaled because I only wanted to make one egg's worth and only had medium eggs):

 

A. Combine:

white unbleached flour [240g-> 73g]

sugar [48g-> 15g]
baking powder [2.5g-> 0.76g]

baking soda [2.5g-> 0.76g]
salt [2.8g-> 0.86g]

 

B. Combine:

milk (room temp) [258g-> 79g]
water (room temp) [375g-> 115g]

 

C. Separate:

eggs [180g-> 55g] -- recipe scaled to one 55g egg

 

D. Combine egg yolk(s) with:

melted butter [58g-> 18g]

 

E. Combine all liquid ingredients (B, C, & D)

 

F. Combine all ingredients with:

whipping cream [375g-> 115g]

 

Dispense from siphon onto preheated waffle iron until iron is completely full.

.

.

.
Here is the batter itself: it is approximately the texture of half-and-half.
DSC_5016.jpg
 
The first waffle attempted was a disaster, I couldn't get it to come out of the iron. It wasn't sticky, per se, it just didn't have enough structure to overcome the slight friction from the belgian-style waffle iron with its extra deep pockets.
DSC_5029.jpg
 
DSC_5034.jpg
 
The fragments that did come out had promise, however, so I persisted.
DSC_5036.jpg
 
Another attempt, this time with non-stick spray applied to the iron (I don't usually need it with this iron, but what the heck?)
DSC_5042.jpg
 
Not quite enough batter, it seems:
DSC_5046.jpg
 
I failed along those lines twice, but the fourth waffle released and held together:
DSC_5054.jpg
 
DSC_5059.jpg
 
DSC_5061.jpg
 
So, to address my own concerns...
 
First, the texture is as promised: ethereally light and airy, utterly crisp, in fact more like a very thin cookie than a waffle at all. The complete waffle weighed only 36 grams (for reference, I'd estimate my normal yeasted waffle recipe at well over 100g per waffle). As you can see from the interior crumb shot, there's almost nothing there. It's like a deconstructed waffle: just the crisp outer bits, without any of the custardy filling at all. This fact also addresses the flavor, which was (to my surprise) really very good. There are only browned outer bits to contribute to the flavor, so even with so little butter, the overall effect is a strong toasted waffle flavor. None of the yeastiness that I like in a conventional waffle, but still, not bland at all. 
 
So: bravo and kudos, dr_justice. This is an excellent addition to the waffling world. Because of its extreme lightness IMO its best use is as a topping or dessert waffle rather than as a conventional breakfast waffle, but if you were to serve it with a bunch of other breakfast items it would probably work then. The Cook's Illustrated yeasted waffle I posted about here is probably still my favorite general-purpose waffle, but when crispness is paramount there's a clear new champion in your Air Waffles.

  • Like 2

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is one of the things I love about eGullet. This should have been an easy logical leap from the aerated microwave cakes and breads but it only became that easy leap once someone thought of it. Now I'm wondering about super puffy pancakes and really aerated English muffins...

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for trying my recipe! 

 

Your 4th waffle came out beautifully, much like how they should come out.

 

From your picture of the batter (the one where it looks like half-and-half) I'm wondering if I somehow didn't get mixed up in my proportions, because mine seems a little whiter and, I think, a little thicker.  But It's hard to tell from a single picture.

 

I also didn't separate my eggs. I used whole eggs, not just the yolks. I'm not sure it matters.

 

But the important part is how it comes out of the siphon. it needs to come out almost like whipped cream: structured so as to keep the air bubbles trapped inside while it cooks.

 

Another important aspect I did not mention is that air waffles are best cooled with both faces exposed to air for about a minute or two before putting them to rest on the plate. Both sides need to be exposed to air so that the bottom side does not become soggy from the heat/steam (which would happen if you just put it on a plate and let it rest).

 

I'm curious about your waffles as you pulled them out of your iron. 
 
I ask because I posted the recipe I did this morning, which I did differently from my usual proportions.
 
Usually I put in a bit less whipped cream (-125ml), and a bit more water (+125ml). I think this tends to give it more structure and crispness as the water evaporates (as opposed to cream).
 

So, did the waffles have any bend or flex to them, or were they perfectly stiff?  When I take out mine, they are usually stiff (but oh so delicate) and hold together without any flex to them. But this morning, they had some flex, and  I wasn't sure why. Looking at the pictures of your first failed attempts, it looks like the pieces didn't break off cleanly, they probably stretched before ripping, which points to what I saw this morning.

 

But your last one was a thing of beauty :-)

 

With regards to butter, you can probably safely add some more, which would likely help your sticking problem without affecting the outcome at all.

 

I'm never as precise as you are with my measurements. Waffle batter is very permissive, so I usually kind of wing it.

Edited by dr_justice (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, and with regards to yeasted waffles.  You can still do it with a yeasted batter -- I've done it -- and they come out awesome with just the taste you are looking for.

 

Just add the usual amount of fresh yeast and let it rest for 2-3 hours before putting in the siphon.

 

But then it's entirely a matter of taste and not a matter of needing the yeast to make the waffles rise.

 

By the way, I find not "needing" yeast to be a great option because you can then experiment with all sorts of tastes in your batter that won't clash with the distinct taste of yeast. 

 

For example, next week I'm incorporating apple sauce into the batter to see how that goes.  I've done apple sauce and whipped cream, and it doesn't clog the siphon.

Edited by dr_justice (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also didn't separate my eggs. I used whole eggs, not just the yolks. I'm not sure it matters.

I used both the yolk and the white, but combining the butter with the yolk before combining with the rest of the ingredients yields a better, more stable distribution of the butter, without any of the tendency to clump that you see when adding hot butter to cold (or even room temp) ingredients.

 

Another important aspect I did not mention is that air waffles are best cooled with both faces exposed to air for about a minute or two before putting them to rest on the plate. Both sides need to be exposed to air so that the bottom side does not become soggy from the heat/steam (which would happen if you just put it on a plate and let it rest).

They got about ten seconds of cooling between the iron and the plate, and I didn't find that any more was needed. By the time I tried them they were shatteringly crisp. They did come out of the iron just barely pliable, but that went away almost immediately.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have two kinds of waffle irons. A standard one, and a belgian one that flips. They come out almost exactly the same in terms of texture.

 

There is so much air you don't need to flip.

 

If you look at the first pics, I used a standard, fold-the-lid-down-and-don't-turn type of waffle iron.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From your picture of the batter (the one where it looks like half-and-half) I'm wondering if I somehow didn't get mixed up in my proportions, because mine seems a little whiter and, I think, a little thicker.  But It's hard to tell from a single picture.

 

Your batter is, without a doubt, thicker.  This could be cause by:

 

Variations in volumetric measuring (the compactability of flour)

Variations in flour protein content

 

Just +/- 1% protein in the flour will be sufficient to change the flour's absorption value and thus make slacker/tighter batter. It's always best to state which brand of flour you used, as well as always measure the flour with a scale.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get airy waffles and I dont use milk at all, I use  ginger ale instead.  

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is airy, and then there is Airy. Believe me, I've made many, many waffle recipes, and these are in a whole new category of lightness. As I mentioned uptopic, it's almost a misnomer to call them "waffles" at all at this point, there is literally almost nothing inside the crust.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get airy waffles and I dont use milk at all, I use  ginger ale instead.  

 

 

Do they have a sweet ginger taste?  I can't imagine that with maple syrup!  I know some old recipes use soda/seltzer water and some use snow, to get the airy effect. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sylvia,  i use a mild ginger ale like Schweppes  and it give a hint of ginger and airy waffles.

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll grant that you can get "light and airy" by conventional standards. The waffles dr_justice presents here are not the same kind of "light and airy" that you are thinking of, they are a fundamentally different beast. If you'd like to post your recipe here I'll make a batch in my iron and do a weight and photo comparison.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thinking of the comment "it's like a deconstructed waffle, with only the crunchy outer bits and no filling", I started to wonder what I could fill it with.

 

I came up with a pretty good idea, but then didn't have the ingredients (so I'll try that later).

 

But in the meantime, what else can I test with? Cheese, perhaps?

 

Quick and dirty comfort food version

 

- Base layer of Air Waffle batter.

- Slice havarti cheese (it's what I had on hand) 

- Top layer of Air Waffle batter.

 

I'm not entirely sure how to describe the result, other than it's a candied grilled cheese waffle. I forgot to taste what it would be like with maple syrup.

 

So after this test I think it'll be possible to fill the air chambers quite nicely with what I have in mind for later.  Does anyone have suggestions for filling?

DSC_1639.JPG

DSC_1650.JPG

DSC_1647.JPG

DSC_1667.JPG

Edited by dr_justice (log)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hrm if  eaten with chocolate  syrup, it would taste like  S'mores.

 

I used to make a waffle with cream cheese and  sauteed  leaks , but that was made with a  puff pastry base. What happens if you combine    two different doughs in one waffle?

Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...