Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Vegan Coconut Milk Waffles
It's summertime so that means I can actually sit down with the boys and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. HA! I wish! Oh well, at least this means I have time to experiment in the kitchen. I have been wanting to expand my repertoire of breakfast fare for a while now. I've tackled pancakes, muffins and scones, so I thought waffles would be good.
I really miss waffles. I know there's allergen-friendly waffles out there and I've tried them, but they didn't pass the "this tastes exactly like a waffle" test. I figured I'd dust off the old waffle iron and try to make them myself. The boys love their pancakes so much (I'm using the vegan version now) that I thought, "Oh this should be easy. I'll just pour the vegan pancake batter into the waffle iron. Great idea!" Oooooh no, was I wrong! Let's just say it didn't go very well. Everything stuck to the waffle iron and I spent a good amount of time cleaning up the entire mess. Bah!
You'd think I'd just give up and move on but nooooo...I just had to make waffles. So I gave it another go. But this time I used my scone recipe and tweaked a few ingredients. I poured it into the waffle iron and crossed my fingers.
Oh my goodness! These waffles smelled so incredibly delicious while they were cooking I couldn't help but hover around the waffle iron and just breathe in all the sweet aroma. Aaaaaaaaaah I was tempted to open the lid and check if they were already done but I had to be patient and wait for that darn green light to turn on and tell me they're ready. Open open open...
Seriously, these waffles tasted exactly the way I hoped they would taste. They have a nice crispy outside and a soft doughy inside. They're so yummy they actually taste good plain. But if you'd like, you can top them with fresh fruit and dust them with some confectioner's sugar. You can also drizzle them with maple syrup, chocolate syrup or melted chocolate (Chocolate Dream and Enjoy Life brands are allergen-friendly as well as vegan). Mmmmmmmm
The first time I made these, I filled the entire waffle iron so I'd get nice square waffles. But what I noticed was the kids, especially my two year old, would just eat the edges and leave the rest. I don't know if they just prefer the edges or the waffles were too big for them to finish. So I just made them smaller and sure enough, they finished them. I actually kinda like the free-form edges of the smaller waffles. They remind me of sugar-studded Liège waffles. Oh man. What if I added sugar to these babies?
Now, if I wanted to make them just like Liège waffles, I needed to use pearl sugar. But since it's not readily available around here, I tried to find a substitute for it. If you know where I can find pearl sugar in San Diego (or the US for that matter), please let me know. I decided to use sanding sugar (for decorating cookies), turbinado sugar (aka Sugar in the Raw) and sugar crystal candy that my brother got from the Japanese supermarket.
Out of the three sugars I used, I think the sanding sugar gave me the best results. The waffles were dotted with caramelized sugar on the outside and crunchy bits of sugar inside. Sugar in the Raw probably would've been good but the turbinado sugar I used had smaller crystals so they pretty much dissolved into the batter. The sugar crystal candy tasted amazing (broke them up into smaller pieces) but most of the pieces that were on the outside just stuck to the waffle iron and burned so they didn't work so well. I've read in some blogs and forums that you can use broken up sugar cubes in place of pearl sugar so I'm gonna have to try that next time and let you know if it works.
A few pointers when making waffles:
- Make sure the waffle iron is hot and greased well with cooking spray to prevent sticking. And you have to spray each time you pour the batter into the waffle iron.
- Use an ice cream scoop to portion out the batter. It's faster and less messy.
- Depending on your waffle iron, you may have to play around with the cooking time. Even if you have the ones with the indicator light, the waffles may still look a little pale when you open the waffle iron so leave them in until they look golden brown.
- Place the waffles on a cooling rack as soon as they come out of the waffle iron. That way they'll stay nice and crispy longer. There's nothing worse than a soggy waffle. If they've been sitting out too long and become soft, just pop them in the toaster or toaster oven to revive them.
- If you have any leftovers, you can freeze them! Just thaw them and toast them and it's waffle time again!
Vegan Coconut Milk Waffles
Makes about 6-8 waffles, depending on the waffle iron
Allergy note: contains wheat ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
(1/4 cup sanding sugar, if you're making sugar waffles)
cooking spray or cooking oil
confectioner's sugar, maple syrup, agave syrup
Preheat waffle iron. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, coconut milk until combined. If you're making sugar waffles, gently fold in the sanding sugar. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour batter onto waffle iron and cook until golden brown. Serve plain or garnish with fresh fruit and syrup.