Last week I finally bought a waffle maker, inspired by what I was reading on the Failsafe discussion groups, but also because I realised I can still eat plenty of nice things, as long as I make them at home. With my choices even more limited now because of the Failsafe diet, I decided I have to make an effort to give myself as many eating alternatives as possible.
Choosing a waffle maker
My consumer watch investigations revealed that Tangs department store offered a few types of interchangeable waffle-sandwich-grill machines, around the S$60 range. They had the advantage of being able to remove the interchangeable heating plates, making for easy cleaning. (And if you are keen on the grill, some open flat so that you can have a BBQ grill right on your dinner table.) The disadvantage: none had a temperature control.
I felt that a temperature control would be important as a low-temperature, slow-cooking waffle would be of even texture throughout, whereas a high-temperature, fast-cooking waffle would have the nice contrast of being crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Both types sounded nice so I wanted to have the option of being able to do both.
Finally, because of my obsession with having a temperature control, and also because we already have a steamboat+BBQ set at home, I bought a Phillips brand waffle-only maker (S$49, Takashimaya) which makes four thin, heart-shaped waffles with small pyramid-shaped depressions. It felt a lot less cheaply-made than the all-in-one machines for $60. Incidentally, Philips also does an all-in-one with temperature control (cannot open flat) for $92. That one makes two square Belgian waffles with the deep square holes.
Tip on cleaning the waffle maker: the shop assistant said I could put a little bit of water on the surface and heat it up. I did so and the water boiled and evaporated away. Subsequently, after making waffle, the maker is usually rather oily, so the only thing to do is wipe with kitchen tissue as the plates cannot be removed for washing with soap and water. I might try wiping them down with a tissue soaked in Chinese tea, as its known for ‘washing away’ that oily feeling during Chinese banquet dinners
Waffle recipe #1 (from Philips manual)
Simple Crisp Waffles (8pcs)
150g butter or margarine
400 ml (250g) wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 spice measure of salt
300ml cold water
Melt the butter and let it cool down. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Add water and milk and beat to a smooth batter. Stir in the melted butter. Cook the waffles.
As usual I used all wholemeal flour but followed the rest of the instructions correctly. I was a little shocked by the amount of butter! But I didn’t want to experiment too much the first time. The waffles were crispy and delicious (at all temperatures) but oh-so-oily. I didn’t even have to brush butter/oil on the waffle maker, it was covered in butter after each waffle.
I froze the extra waffles and put the left-over batter in the fridge. The first was excellent, I could heat them in the toaster for a quick snack just like store-bought waffles! but the latter was a total mistake. The next day, the batter was barely liquid and I stupidly added water to make it possible to pour it onto the waffle maker, which of course made the batter far too liquid! It totally lost its elasticity, and was too sticky to harden into a solid mass. I ended up scraping oily, burnt, brittle crumbs off the waffle-maker. Trying to salvage the batter by using it to make pancakes was also a disaster, there wasn’t the elasticity, and they were wet, sticky and fractured when trying to lift them out of the pan, whilst oozing oil the whole time – yuck.
Waffle recipe #2 (from Philips cookbook)
Having completely OD-ed on butter, I chose the recipe with the lowest amount of butter. This one is for Ham Waffles, but I don’t eat preserved meats so I just made it without any ham :).
Ham Waffles (6 pcs)
50g butter or margarine
100g smoked lean ham
400ml (250g) wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Melt the butter and let it cool down. Chop the ham and mix with flour, salt and baking powder. Add eggs and water or milk. Stir all the ingredients into a smooth batter. Add the melted butter. Cook the waffles.
Oh dear, this one didn’t come out as expected either. They just refused to go crisp no matter at what temperature I used or how long I cooked them. *sigh*. This time I used up all the batter immediately and froze the leftover waffles.
I also learnt that three ladlesful (of the ladle I have a home) fills the cavity of the waffle-maker exactly :).
I suppose one can think of these waffles as having the soft, chewy texture of bread, and I eat them as a bread substitute with savoury toppings like tuna. It’s always good to have bread substitutes — I’ve made scones and savoury muffins as bread replacements — as I limit the amount of bread I consume. After eliminating yeasted breads when on the anti-candida diet, I eventually started eating bread in small amounts which I found I could tolerate, but I also learnt that I start to get an itch after several days of consecutive, uncontrolled bread eating. So now that means maximum one slice per day of additive-free of bakery bread from Cedele, absolutely no commercial sliced bread, and I try skip a few days in between my bread-eating. I guess you could say I am trying to manage a Failsafe diet whilst being conscious of anti-candida principles.
I’ll write more on waffles when I eventually hit on a good recipe :).
Just made waffles again. I used the Simple Crisp Waffles recipe (recipe #1) and reduced the amount of butter to 100ml. Perfect!