Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Valentines Waffles with Rose Syrup Strawberries & Crème Fraîche

It took me over two years after I got my waffle iron to find the perfect batter recipe. The big problem I was having was that the waffles only cooked one one side where I was pouring the batter into the iron, but not on top where I closed the lid. Needless to say I've become a lot more enthused by the art of waffling since I tried Lily Vanilli's Buttermilk Waffles on Christmas morning from the December 2015 issue of Waitrose Food. Luckily, Valentines Day falls on a Sunday morning this year, which provides the perfect excuse to serve up a plate of waffles (with a glass or two of pink champagne!) to your loved one by way of a celebratory brunch.
Valentines Waffles with Rose Syrup Strawberries & Crème Fraîche | @rachelphipps
Waffles with Rose Syrup Strawberries & Crème Fraîche | @rachelphipps
Something else I've learnt over my pretty constant catalogue of waffle failures over the past few years is that you need to get to know your waffle iron; you're never going to have perfect results first time. While I think this is a really good batter (you spoon rather than pour it, it is not too runny. Also, the combination of bicarbonate of soda and buttermilk creates an instant chemical reaction expanding the mixture as it cooks to help you fill you your iron so both sides cook evenly), I think it is also great that Lily's recipe was actually designed for my Cuisinart Waffle Maker, which can only help. Though, as I said, just get used to your waffle iron. I know this batter mix makes 4 waffles if I put 3 generous spoonfuls in each side and do two batches.
Buttermilk Waffles with Strawberries & Creme Fraiche | @rachelphipps Valentines Waffles with Rose  Soaked Syrup Strawberries & Crème Fraîche | @rachelphipps
As for the toppings, I've gone for a dollop of rich and creamy crème fraîche and fresh strawberries, left to soak in rose cordial (I use The East India Company's, it is also delicious if you with 2 tbsp with chilled soda water in a tall glass on a hot Summer day) as it is quick and easy while you're making the waffles. However, Greek yogurt and beautifully pink Forced Rhubarb and Cardamom Compote would be delicious, too. I decided to lay off on the rhubarb this Valentines Day though, on account of making it one of my star ingredients last year in my Cardamom Panna Cotta with Forced Rhubarb Compote. This recipe serves 2, obviously.
Buttermilk Waffles with Rose Syrup Strawberries & Crème Fraîche | @rachelphipps Valentines Roses from Bloom & Wild | @rachelphipps
On a final note before we launch into the recipe proper, you've probably noticed these simply stunning roses garnishing the plate. On Friday I arrived home from work to a long, thin, letterbox shaped box packed full of Valentines blooms. The team at Bloom & Wild were kind enough to treat me to 'The Lizzie', one of their special Valentines arrangements. They come with instructions how to arrange them into a stunning bouquet, and they look lovely on top of the piano. Boys? If you're reading this you can still order them to have them delivered on time for Sunday, with the option of throwing in a Biscuiteers conversation heart, Prestat chocolates or a tube of Crabtree & Evelyn's (quite wonderful) Rosewater Hand Cream with your order. You can thank me later! Also, if you use the code RACHELBLOOMS at the checkout, you'll get 15% off your order.

  • 10 Large Strawberries
  • 1 tbsp Rose Cordial
  • 4 tbsp Crème Fraîche
  • 150g (6 oz) Plain (All Purpose) Flour
  • 1/2 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda)
  • 1 tbsp Golden Caster (Granulated) Sugar
  • Pinch Salt
  • 200ml (7 fl oz) Buttermilk
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 50g (3 tbsp) Melted Unsalted Butter
  • Oil in a spray bottle 

Core and slice the strawberries. In a small bowl, combine them with the cordial and set them aside. Plug in your waffle iron to heat up while you make the waffle batter. Simply combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and salt in one bowl, and the buttermilk, egg and melted butter in the other. Gradually whisk the liquid mixture into the flour mixture. 

Lightly spray each plate of the waffle iron with a little oil, and cook the waffles in batches. You'll need to spray a little bit more oil between batches. Divide between two warm plates, and spoon over the crème fraîche, the strawberries and the rose and strawberry juice at the bottom of the strawberry bowl. 

Aside from the obvious pink/ Valentines/ flowers theme of this post (somehow ironic that I manage to put together something different for Valentines each year yet I remain single), this is a really great, solid waffle batter recipe that can be served up with all types of toppings, and that I'm looking forward to playing around with to create a few more different types of flavours. Also, they're actually much quicker to make than pancakes! 

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