Sunday, February 17, 2013

recipe showdown: belgian waffles

It's humiliating.  It's tragic.  It's the decay of Western civilization.
... and I can't stop watching it.


Ever since I heard that little, blond, 4-foot-tall toddler's famous catchphrase"a dollar makes me holler honey boo boo," I've been in love.
She's hyperactive, uninhibited, and foul-mouthed... and I'm kind of obsessed.


But since this is technically a food blog, I should be talking about food, not the "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo."  I did a little research and the Honey Boo Boo clan has some *pretty* interesting dishes.
Have you ever heard of "Sketti"?
Spaghetti, doused with a sauce that is one part margarine, one part ketchup.
However, the most infamous Honey Boo Boo specialty is her "go go juice" -- a secret mix of Mountain Dew and Red Bull that gets her "go go"-ing for her pageants.  If you aren't familiar with "go go juice," click here.  Thank me later.


Anyways, I have my own version of "go go juice."  It's not quite Mountain Dew mixed with Red Bull, but it sure gets me going.  It's my secret weapon that gets me through 6-hour indoor track meets.


Truth is, nothing gets me going like Belgian waffles. 
I could run my little heart out for hours after one of those babies.
This morning was the last meet of the winter season, so obviously Belgian waffles were on the menu.  Since they're my secret weapon, they had to be perfect this time.


What am I looking for in a Belgian waffle?  Something so crispy that you can hear the fork break the crust, yet so tender that the inside is pillowy like cotton candy.  Something that can soak up maple syrup and melty butter while still holding its waffle-y shape.


After comparing a series of very popular and wildly different recipes, I think I found the one.  Aretha Frankensteins' (what a name!) Waffle's of Insane Greatness were spot on.

What's your "go go juice"?

With love,
Erica



Description
These waffles have a very thick and rich batter that is scooped not poured into the iron.  It has a dense, buttery crumb and the consistency of a light, buttery shortbread cookie.
These waffles are famous in the food blogging community, known simply as “WIG.”  The light batter uses vegetable oil and cornstarch.
Simple, pancake-like batter, with the addition of a whipped egg white.  I used sour cream thinned with ¼ cup milk instead of the buttermilk (which was one of the suggested substitutions). As the title suggests, these are very rich waffles.
A way to modify Bisquick waffle mix in a way that comes “very close to mom’s homemade waffles”
Tasters’ Notes
Very cookie-like
Sugary
Not “fluffy” waffles
Dense
Doesn’t even need syrup
Shortbread
Dessert
Light and airy

Mind-bogglingly crisp exterior

Unique

Toasty

Caramelized
Eggy
Rich
A bit chewy
Soft
soggy?
Traditional
Expected
Not special
Conclusion
More of a cookie than a waffle. Nevertheless, these were delicious. These are perfect for dessert, with syrup and maybe some ice cream
They are curiously light and fluffy on the inside, and have a shatteringly crisp crust. They are also the easiest (come together in one bowl, and no nonsense with egg whites)
These were very soft. They were rich, but had no crunch. Still, they were tasty and tangy, just not, the waffle.
These are tasty if you’re in a rush. But nothing beats homemade, and these aren’t anything special.

Aretha Frankenstein's Waffles of Insane Greatness

From Aretha Frankenstein's restaurant in Chattanooga, TN.

Ingredients

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk or buttermilk (or a combination)
1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Butter and pure maple syrup, for serving

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Add the milk, vegetable oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and mix well. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.

Heat a waffle iron. Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles. Serve immediately with butter and pure maple syrup or hold in a 200 degree oven, directly on the rack (don't stack them or they'll get soggy). These also reheat very well in the toaster.



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30 comments:

  1. I love WIG! Perfect. They look gorgeous in your photos too!

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    1. Haha now I love WIG too! Thank you so much!

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  2. I've loved this recipe for years and completely agree. Thank you for conforming their wonderfulness for me. My love of waffles keeps me investigating new recipes, but I always come back to the WIG. Thanks for doing the leg work.

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    1. That's the point of recipe showdown! I have a bunch more recipe showdowns to come!

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  3. Mmmmm, waffles! These sound totally fantastic...so making them tomorrow morning!

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  4. Erica! I can't get over your geniusness and willingness to put in so much work into these showdowns. I absolutely love them. Also, I'm obsessed with waffles. I just made some for my boyfriend for Valentine's Day and I was actually really surprised--I chose a recipe that uses yeast because I wanted to make the batter the night before and throw them in the waffle maker that morning before I went to work, but they didn't look like anything special. But I (and my boyfriend) thought they were amazing!!! So if you're ever looking for another recipe to try out....this is what I used: http://www.food.com/recipe/overnight-waffles-16235

    But now I must try WIG!

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    1. Thank you so much! As a matter of fact, I am working on a few more recipe showdowns at the moment that I think you'll really like! I am glad you share my waffle obsession, and I'm glad you and the bf found a recipe that you both enjoyed! I just had a bunch of friends sleep over and we made yeasted waffles from The Breakfast Book. I will have to try out your recipe as well!

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  5. Looks fantastic!! I'm in the market for a waffle maker and looks like yours works wonderfully. mind sharing which one you use??

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    1. Thank you! I have had the Waring Pro Belgian Waffle maker for 5 years now and it works like a charm -- big deep pockets to collect all that syrup!

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  6. I've been trying lots of waffle recipes in my Belgian waffle maker and this is the BEST!! thanks!!!

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  7. I tried this with skim milk and did not have success. Oh well. It was worth a try!

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  8. Oh no! The recipe suggested using whole milk (I used two percent) -- perhaps try using fattier milk next time?

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  9. Can the milk be subbed out for almond, soy, or coconut milk?

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    1. Yes of course! Although it may change the consistency a little bit!

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  10. I just made these using almond milk and they were dreadful. I ended up turning the setting up to the "darkest" and the insides were still gooey and not all the way cooked. They also didn't rise and get fluffy at all. More soggy and plastic tasting. My Belgian waffle maker usually cooks recipes perfectly on its "medium" setting (which grossly undercooked this recipe), so I'm blaming the almond milk on this one. Use whole milk!

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    1. Oh no! I am so sorry to hear this! Yes, I guess almond milk would be too thin for this recipe to work! If you are looking for a non-dairy option, perhaps coconut milk would work better! So sorry about the mess!

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  11. About how many waffles/servings does this make? Enough for a family of 4 to have 1 each?

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    1. Definitely enough for a family of four!

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  12. These didn't turn out at all. Very runny and never fluffed. I followed the recipe exactly. Is 3/4 cup of flour right?

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  13. This did not turn out for me, batter was thin. Liquid to dry ingredient ratio made for a very thin batter.

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  14. I can't wait to try this recipe!! I live in Chattanooga, TN and every time my husband tries to order their waffle they are out of the batter!!!! The serve it with a scoop of ice cream and cinnamon. It's called elephants gerald. If you have not tried their pancake mix you should get your hands on a box. They are famous and to die for!

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  15. Truth is, nothing gets me going like Belgian waffles. ... prowafflemaker.blogspot.com

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  16. I made the WIG for dinner tonight (love breakfast for dinner) and they were AMAZING! We tripled the recipe to freeze some for future use. Easily the best waffle recipe I've ever found. I separated the eggs and whipped the whites, then folded them in before the batter rested. We also used skim milk and they turned out great. Love, love, love! Thanks for doing all the research for us!

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  17. belgian waffle are my favorite, this is a good treat to start a day.

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