Friends, the recipe I share with you today is seemingly simple, but extraordinary, nonetheless. You may already know about this combination, or maybe you don’t. I have to imagine that the man/woman behind the creation of the pizookie (pizza cookie with ice cream) married the man/woman who created the gaufre à la glace (waffle with ice cream). I mean, I just have to think they’re somehow at least friends because there would be no better union than the two. Imagine the meals they come up with…brilliant! I personally had no idea that people ate waffles with ice cream. I remember walking into the French gelato place on Rue des Canettes, and thinking what the heck, waffles with ice cream? Is this for real? Oh, yes, mademoiselle, they are more than real. They are the new crepe, or maybe a crepe is the new gaufre à la glace? Which was first?
Let me just tell what I DO know: my sister and I were sharing an apartment on our last stay in Paris for one month, which meant we actually had to budget all the places we were going out to. It wasn’t a week-long vacation where we could splurge on fine-dining. We had to choose a nice dinner out or a pastry affair each day, and let me just tell you, we totally ate waffles with ice cream for dinner many a time. You might be thinking, so…it’s just a waffle with a scoop of ice cream? And like, yes, but no! Non, non, non! It’s not just any waffle. It’s a gorgeous, yeast-y, fluffy, crunchy, perfection-for-my-baking-heart kind of waffle. Here I had been thinking the crepe was the street vendor dessert to get, when all this time this divine creation was sitting under my nose (and now in my belly, where it rightfully belongs).
While classic waffles are great, there’s just something amazing about a yeast waffle. When you’re making the batter for these, you’ll probably be thinking it’s really thin and soup-y, nothing like the breads you’re used to making yeast with. And you’d be right, this is nothing like a bread. The yeast in this batter contributes in two ways. Firstly, it provide lots of flavor. When these waffles cook inside the waffle iron, it will smell like you’re baking the most wonderful bread ever. That’s all because of the yeast. Secondly, the yeast gives the waffles that sort of “raised” appearance, and just the overall fluffy texture. The outside gets nice and crisp, while the insides remain light and airy. If you want to do it the French way, dust the warm waffles with powdered sugar and top with a scoop of your favorite ice cream. This is the stuff dreams are made of.
P.S. For all my wine lovers, there is a really great documentary on Netflix right now called A Year in Burgundy that is just a real delight to watch. You learn so much about the wine-making process, specifically the winemakers and vineyards of Burgundy, France.
- 1/4 c warm water, about 110°F-115°F
- 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 c warm whole milk, 90°F-100°F
- 1/4 c unsalted butter, half a stick, melted
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 c all-purpose flour
- 1 extra-large egg
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- powdered sugar for dusting
- 5 scoops of preferred ice cream
- oil or butter to grease your waffle iron with
- If you can, prepare your batter the evening before for best flavor. If enjoying same day, then begin 1 1/2 hours before you want to cook your waffles. Start by pouring the warm water, yeast, and sugar into a very large bowl. Do not stir. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes, or until it's frothy.
- Add the warm milk, melted butter, honey, vanilla extract, and kosher salt; whisk to combine. Then add in the all-purpose flour and whisk until smooth. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the batter rest in a cool place on your counter overnight, or for at least 1 hour.
- After your batter has rested, it should have risen in height and slightly bubbled on the surface. In a small bowl, beat the egg and baking soda together. Add this into the waffle batter and whisk to combine.
- Heat your waffle iron and brush with oil or melted butter. Use a half cup measuring tool to scoop out 1/2 a cup of the waffle batter onto the iron. If your waffle iron has a timer for notifying you when the waffles are ready (usually about 3 to 4 minutes for most machines), let the waffles cook a little bit longer (like 5 to 6 minutes), or until they're slightly browned and crispy on the outside.
- Place the cooked waffles on a metal wire rack in the oven with the hold setting on to keep the waffles warm while you finish cooking all of them. Dust the finished waffles with powdered sugar and place a scoop of your favorite ice cream right in the center of each.