Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Waffles with a Mapley Chocolate Sauce

Waffles
To me waffles have always seemed the height of elegance and sophistication. I've never eaten them here in the UK, but I have fond memories of the light and crispy delights offered to us at elegant establishments in Europe. On our visit to Ghent we had them served mit slagroom. Slagroom for the uninitiated is the Flemish for whipped cream. Jolly delicious they were too.

I think of waffles as a 3D pancake, with their neat little reservoirs which hold lots of butter, cream, syrup or whatever else you fancy to shorten your life. When I was sent some silicone waffle moulds from Lékué to try out, it didn't take me long to drop those eggs and flour into a bowl and start mixing.

My enthusiasm for Lékué remains unchecked with this, the third product I have tried. You can read my previous posts on the bundt mould and the bread maker by clicking on the links. Having used silicone bakeware for years, I have experience of the good and the bad. The performance of cheap silicone moulds I've used in the past really isn't that good. Thin material results in uneven baking with the bottoms getting burnt and the batter not being properly cooked. The Lékué silicone is sturdy and you can tell the products are of good quality by the look and feel of them. To boot, they come with a ten year guarantee. The pack contained two moulds, each with 4 waffle patterns. The waffle indentations were well defined and turned out perfect looking waffles. I found the moulds very easy to use and they gave a good result with a fluffy interior and a nice crispy exterior. I was slightly concerned about how easy it would be to release the waffles, but they slipped out of the moulds with no trouble at all. Not only that, but you don't get all the smoke associated with hot metal, grease and batter - or is that just me?

Ocoa pur noir
I'd also been sent some Clarks maple syrup to try out and waffles seemed the perfect vehicle to do so. Just in time for Pancake Day, I was sent four small 180 ml plastic bottles with squirty tops.  These were nice and easy to use, though I found the syrup to be rather more liquid than I was expecting. Two were pure maple syrup and two were blended with carob fruit syrup, which seemed a little odd and unnecessary to me. I would rather have my syrup pure and dilute or mix it in whatever way I wish, rather than have it done for me. In this instance, I didn't want to adulterate the pure syrup and simply drizzled it over some of the waffles and served with a little whipped cream and pomegranate seeds. However, I had designs for the vanilla version, which I thought would help to make a luxurious chocolate sauce. For the chocolate sauce, I was also keen to use some of the premium couverture dark chocolate I'd been sent from Cacao Barry, 70% Ocoa pur noir, which I thought would give a particularly rich and fulsome flavour. The aroma wafting up from the packet was of chocolate, caramel and tobacco and the taste lived up to the promise that these smells evoked with multi layered notes hitting the palate in succession.

Maple Syrup
As well as using the maple syrup on the waffles and in the sauce and subsequently in a number of other ways, we tried them neat to get a real sense of their individual characters.

Original (blended with carob fruit syrup) - strong smoky, caramel, rich. Wouldn't want to eat too much at any one time. Very sweet.

Vanilla (blended with carob fruit syrup) - reminded me of cough medicine that I used to have as a child - something I always viewed as a treat. Aromatic, with a strong vanilla flavour. Very sweet. I used this one in the chocolate sauce to good effect.

Pure Canadian (No.1 Medium Grade) - less runny than the previous two and not as overpoweringly sweet. Smoky and tanniny with a drying-in-the-mouth feel. It was this one that we used on our waffles and it worked well.

Pure Canadian (No.2 Amber Grade) - this proved to be my favourite. It was sweeter than No 1 with a more rounded "maple flavour" but still with the tannins coming through.

The moulds came with instructions and a recipe for sweet waffles and one for savoury. The savoury waffles sounded quite delicious with an addition of Parmesan, oregano and paprika. I am quite keen to try these, but for my first attempt I decided to make waffles that were neither sweet nor savoury so we could add the maple syrup and chocolate sauce without them becoming too sweet. I based the batter on the recipe provided, which gave the perfect amount to fill the eight waffle moulds.

Just out of the oven - see that steam rising?
This is how I made:

Waffles with a Maple Syrup Chocolate Sauce

  • Sprayed the moulds lightly with oil (not something I normally do with silicone, but it is recommended for the first time of use). Placed them on an oven tray.
  • Melted 110g unsalted butter in a pan over low heat.
  • Sifted 240g flour (half wholemeal spelt, half white) into a bowl with 2 tsp baking powder and a pinch of pink rock salt.
  • Made a well in the centre and broke in 3 medium eggs.
  • Started stirring this, slowly adding 410 ml milk until a smooth batter had formed.
  • Added the butter and stirred until incorporated.
  • Ladled the batter into the moulds - there was just enough to completely fill them, but with none left over.
  • Baked in the lower half of the oven at 200°C for 10 minutes or until set.
  • Removed from the oven and turned out onto the oven tray. Placed back in the oven with the pattern side up for a further 5 minutes or so until the waffles were crisp and golden.
Meanwhile:
  • Melted 150g 70% good quality dark chocolate (Ocoa pur noir) with 200g double cream in a pan over low heat.
  • Added 2 tbsp maple syrup and stirred until all incorporated and smooth.
  • Poured the warm sauce over the hot waffles and scattered some pomegranate seeds over the top.
We just loved these. Two each was plenty, but very greedily and because we had them for brunch, we polished off all eight of them. Crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, I shall be making these waffles again very soon. Next time, if there are only two of us, I shall try freezing half of them for a quick and easy breakfast, brunch or dessert another time. The chocolate sauce was indeed rich and quite delicious too with a faint hint of maple that gave it an air of added luxury. Having said that, we also enjoyed eating them with cream and pure maple syrup.

Pancake Day is on the 5th of March. I'm seriously thinking of renaming it Waffle Day. maple syrup is, of course, a must - as is chocolate.

Lékué also sent two fabulous stretchy covers that will fit over various sized containers from a half used tin of tomatoes to, in this instance, a bowl of chocolate sauce. They are also good for covering half eaten pieces of fruit such as an orange or melon. The reusable covers act as temporary lids creating a vacuum seal to keep leftovers fresh - a much better option than clingfilm in my opinion. As there was plenty of chocolate sauce left over, I used one to cover the bowl. It was both easy to put on and easy to take off. The remaining chocolate sauce was used to make the truffle icing for my chocolate Valentine cakes.

Thanks to Lékué for sending me the waffle moulds and stretch tops to try out and to Clarks and Cacao Barry for the maple syrup and chocolate. I was not required to write positive reviews and as always all opinions are my own.

15 comments:

  1. I love waffle, youre looks delicious!!!
    Have a nice day

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  2. The covers for tins sound like a brilliant idea! I am tempted by the waffle mould but if I had a waffle mould I would eat even more than I already do!

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  3. Waffles from the oven? Brilliant idea! I would love to munch few of them now :)

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  4. Sounds lovely. Waffles always make me think of sitting happily in European sea front cafés, preferably slightly out of season. I like the idea of waffle day even if it won't do favours for my waist size.

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  5. How wonderful! I am liking that website

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  6. I'm impressed with the Lekue silicone ware, it really does the job. The waffles look fantastic, great alternatives to all the pancakes at this time of year ;-)

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  7. FAB idea for your moulds Choclette, I have yet to use mine! I DO love a good gaufre and yours look divine!

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  8. delicious! and I am going to stop looking now so I am not led into temptation!

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  9. I want to become friends with Lékué . Yummy waffles.

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  10. Yum! The last time I ate a waffle was in Maison Dandoy in Brussels last June. The sweet pillowy dough was just heavenly. I need to get hold of the Lekue waffle moulds and recreate the memories at home. Yours look delicious!

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  11. These waffle moulds are genius. I hate all that grease and stuff with regular moulds. GG

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  12. Mapley chocolate sauce sounds amazing.

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  13. You've so sold me on the Lékué waffle mould, they sound terrific! I wouldn't have thought of making homemade waffles but what a treat they'd be, especially for the kids and their friends. Intrigued to try the Parmesan version too, sounds delish as do yours with Choccie sauce. Yuuuuuum!

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  14. I love waffles and they were a solid part of my upbringing. Starting from when I was a kid and the local brunch place had a waffle bar all the way through college where they had batter and waffle irons out in the cafeteria on the weekends. So delicious. While I really like waffle irons, the Lekue waffle mold seems like a great idea for folks without the room to store a proper waffle iron.

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