So I thought things could get much better than these French cruller waffles. Super light and fluffy waffles with a crisp crunch that are just begging to be topped with all sorts of delicious things. We love waffles here but often find them so heavy that after one or two you feel like you need to be rolled away from the table (in all fairness this could also be due to the fact that I had to have a Belgium style waffle maker that makes beautifully deep waffles). I realised as I was making a huge batch of waffles for the last morning of our recent family holiday that I hadn’t even bothered making any other waffle recipe since coming up with the cruller waffles.
That just didn’t feel quite right, in the PhD kitchen and household we are always dreaming up new combinations and crazy ideas. I love my tried and true favourites but there is nothing like the excited nervous wait as you try something that sounds delicious but could equally flop. Adding fresh fruit to what is essentially a choux pastry seemed like the worst idea ever to be honest. You try to cook as much liquid out of the batter before you add the eggs, it is a temperamental dough that needs just the right amount of egg white to give a light fluffy interior but still get the outer crunch of the shell. However three containers of the most beautiful strawberries were sitting on the bench and they didn’t just want to be sliced on top of a plain waffle, they didn’t want to be turned into a syrup to be poured on the waffle. no they wanted to be slowly cooked in the waffle iron turning into little pockets of sweetness. I had to try it.
Would the waffles just flop and go mushy in the middle? Would they not get that beautiful crisp shell that I have come to love? Would I regret using 5 eggs and half a punnet of strawberries on a breakfast fail?
I am already looking forward to making these for our Christmas morning breakfast (of course I will need to make them at least three or four times before then just to be sure I love them :P) Today we enjoyed them with more fresh strawberries and lemon curd but I think next time we will need to get some mascarpone on there too. They would also be so good with the browned butter maple syrup sauce (but really what isn’t good with that?)
After the success with strawberries I would imagine this would work well with other fruit. Stone fruit season is coming and I think peaches would be awesome. I do think that fresh fruit is a must, frozen fruit tends to be too liquidy and I do think it would ruin the texture of the waffles.
I hope this gives you the confidence to indulge some of your own crazy baking ideas, would love to hear about them!
In the mean time you will find me here just looking for another excuse to whip up a batch of these waffles.
Fresh Strawberry French Cruller Waffles
Makes approximately 12 waffles
A PhD Original Recipe
1 cup of water
90 g butter
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1 egg white
12 small strawberries (6-8 large)
1. To make the waffle dough place the water, butter, sugar and salt in a sauce pan and heat over medium heat till simmering and the butter has melted. Add in the flour and mix quickly to combine. Continue stirring and cook the mixture for 1-2 minutes or until you see a thin film form on the bottom of the pan. Transfer the dough to the bowl of an electric mixer.
2. Beat the dough on a low speed (this helps to cool it and remove extra moisture to give a lighter crisper waffle). Once the dough is no longer releasing stream turn off the mixer and allow the dough to stand for 5 minutes to cool fully.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add one egg white and mix in well. Chop the strawberries into small pieces and gently fold into the waffle batter.
4. Heat the waffle iron to near it’s highest heat. Once it comes to temperature place 2-3 tablespoons of batter in each waffle well (or whatever seems best for your waffle iron). They take longer to cook than normal waffle batter, about 5-7 minutes, just keep an eye on them. Set aside on a wire rack to stop them from going soggy. Repeat until all the batter is used.
Serve with lemon curd (recipe) and more fresh strawberry slices.
The waffles are best as soon as they are made but can be frozen and toasted to reheat.