Monday, September 27, 2010

Carrot and Corn-Flour Waffles

I rarely have the opportunity to make a big breakfast in the morning, so I make a point of having breakfast for dinner on a regular basis, which always feels like a treat. These waffles are a bit more suited to summer than fall, with their sunny and light flavor, but made for a thoroughly satisfying dinner when topped with a smear of butter and a hearty drizzle of maple syrup. As usual, I made plenty of extra to freeze for quick and delicious breakfasts during the week.

Carrot and Corn-Flour Waffles
from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce
makes 10

Sometimes the best cooking inspiration comes from what's in your cupboards. One cold Sunday morning in winter, I wanted to use a handful of corn flour in a batch of waffles for the kids. As I pulled milk, butter, and eggs from the fridge, I noticed a small glass of carrot juice, and on a whim I poured it into the batter. Both the carrots and corn flour had a sunny sweetness that made them a perfect breakfast match. The juice and zest of an orange brightened the color and flavor of the waffles. When you make this recipe for breakfast, squeeze some extra oranges and serve a pitcher of juice along with the waffles.

2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter, melted, for the waffle iron

Dry Mix:
1.5 c. corn flour
1.5 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. plus 2 T. wheat germ
1/4 c. dark brown sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 T. ground ginger
1.5 t. kosher salt

Wet Mix:
1 c. plus 2 T. carrot juice
3/4 c. whole milk
3 T. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
Zest and juice of one orange
2 eggs

1. Turn the waffle iron to its highest setting. Even if you don't usually heat it this high, these waffles come out best when cooked at high heat. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back into the bowl any bits of grain or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk all the wet ingredients together until thoroughly combined and a creamy orange color. Pour the wet mixture into the dry, using a spatula to get every last bit. With a light hand gently fold the two mixtures together. The batter will be thick and pillowlike, with large pockets of deflated bubbles on the surface.

3. Brush the waffle iron generously with butter; this is the key to a crisp crust. Use a ladle or measuring cup to scoop 1/2 cup batter onto the spaces of the iron. Promptly close, and listen for the iron to sigh as the batter begins to cook. The smell wafting from the iron starts out like a freshly kneaded loaf of bread, then becomes toasty. Remove the waffle when the indicator light shows that it is done, or when a quick peek shows that it's turned a dark golden-brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the hot waffle with a fork, and repeat with the remaining batter.

4. The waffles should be served hot-right out of the waffle iron-as the buttery flavors and beautiful crunch tend to deteriorate quickly when the waffles cool. Serve with a large knob of unsalted butter and the best maple syrup you can find, or with some Three-Citrus Marmalade (see Good to the Grain, page 192). Or add a spoonful of Greek yogurt to the plate, use the back of the spoon to make a hollow, and drop a bit of syrup or jam into it.

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