Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Valentine Brunch: Red Velvet Waffles

My heart shaped waffle iron is the very first kitchen related item that I remember getting. In the sixth grade, I vividly remember inviting my mom to brunch as part of our cooking class. We made waffles to serve our parents, and I became enamored with them since. I begged my parents to buy me the waffle iron. It makes me so happy that it still works almost 20 years later! I like to bring out the heart shaped waffles for special weekends, like Valentine's. 
When A and I started dating while I was still in college, I remember going to the store to buy boxed cake mix. (Yes, the horror! We had limited funds and equipment back then!) I think he meant to grab the chocolate cake mix, but we somehow came home with a box of Red Velvet. Being Yankees, we were totally grossed out by the idea and set out to return to the store to exchange it for the chocolate mix. To this day, we never jumped onto the red velvet bandwagon.  It's a muted chocolate flavor and a disgusting amount of red food coloring. I don't understand why people claim it to be their favorite. Are you fan? Can you please explain it to me? 

I tried to give it another try and thought that trying to make them in a waffle form might be interesting. I adapted a buttermilk waffle recipe by adding cocoa powder, sugar, and a few drops of gel food coloring. While the exterior was crisp and the interior was fluffy, the taste was lacking until I made it really indulgent by transforming breakfast into dessert with the addition of a  whipped cream cheese  topping. ;) Sorry red velvet fans.....we're still not loving it.
Red Velvet Waffles
adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Makes 3 large waffles

7/8 c all-purpose flour
2 tbsp unsweetened natural cocoa
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg, separated
7/8 c buttermilk
2 tbsp butter, melted
5 drops of red gel food coloring

1. Whisk flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk egg yolk, buttermilk and melted butter in a glass measuring cup.
2. Preheat waffle iron. Beat egg white until stiff peaks form.
3. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients slowly and careful not to over combine. Add food coloring and gently fold in the egg white into the batter with a rubber spatula.
4. Pour batter into waffle iron and proceed using manufacturer's instructions.

Whipped cream cheese topping
adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Makes 1 cup

2 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1/2 c heavy cream

1. Combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl. Beat at medium high until light and fluffy.
2. Add heavy cream. Beat on high for 3-5 minutes to desired consistency.

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