Waffles, who can resist them?
I’m not talking about those faux “Belgian” varieties you get deep-frozen at Iceland but the homemade, sweet, buttery waffles with a hint of tartness from the addition of sour cream every Norwegian grows up with.
My grandmother, always primed for unexpected visitors, habitually kept a bowl with sour cream and vanilla waffle batter in the fridge. Invariably a neighbour or long lost relative from Minnesota would turn up (I’m not kidding, it seems we have millions of relatives in Minnesota, the Dakotas, Colorado, Wyoming, Alaska…) and no one could resist Granny Johansen’s sour cream and vanilla waffles.
This was of course in the halcyon days before The Atkins diet and carbophobia set in, visitors now would probably turn to jelly at the sight of such wholesome carb goodness, or have the audacity to ask if quinoa and amaranth waffles were available, with a topping of alfalfa sprouts and broccoli for good measure. Fascists. Killjoys!
Anyway, as it was Mother’s Day and my Mama loves waffles I rustled up a batch especially for her. We had them with an assortment of toppings: strawberry compote (vintage 2005), fresh fruit and plain cinnamon and sugar. You could top them with maple syrup, fresh summer berries, hot chocolate or butterscotch sauce, or indeed all of the above for a riot of colours, textures, tastes and well, for the hell of it.
I liked the orange marmalade and cinnamon version featured in the photo above so much that I thought I’d share the recipe here with you. Let me know your favourite waffle toppings, am always open to suggestions. Provided they’re not low carb
Norwegian sour cream and vanilla waffles:
Makes 3-4 servings
- 230g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 70g caster sugar
- pinch of salt
- 70g melted butter, slightly cooled
- 70ml water
- 150g sour cream
- 100ml whole milk
- 2 medium eggs
- 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
- a few tablespoons of orange marmalade diluted with a splash of hot water (orange blossom honey would also be good)
- freshly sliced oranges
You will need a waffle iron (see below about the offer from Robert Dyas)
Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, make a well in the middle and then add all the liquid ingredients. Stir together until you have a sticky batter. You’ll know that it’s sticky enough if it takes a couple of seconds for the batter to drop from the spoon when you lift it out of the bowl.
Set the batter aside for 30 minutes to allow the starch cells in the flour to swell, which will thicken the mixture to give you fluffy light waffles. Then you just scoop a small ladleful of waffle batter on to the middle of each base section of your preheated waffle iron, close the lid and wait until the indicator light shows that they’re cooked (or lift the lid a smidgeon and sneak a peak before that, if you’re impatient like me). When they’re ready, the waffles should be golden and crispy on the outside, fluffy and light on the inside. Serve piping hot with slices of orange, some orange marmalade drizzled on top and a few sprinkles of cinnamon. If you wanted to make boozy waffles you could spike the marmalade with brandy, or even better Grand Marnier. Slivers of almonds, pistachios or little nuggets of walnut wouldn’t go amiss here either.
* Incidentally a double waffle iron at the bargainous price of £14.99 is on offer at Robert Dyas. I can’t vouch for the quality of the iron but frankly at that price I’m tempted to snaffle it. All the better for making multiple waffles at brunch, non?