Have I mentioned I love breakfast so so so much? I have to admit that even though I have a sweet tooth to rival the best of them, for breakfast I’m more of an Eggs Benedict or Biscuits & Gravy kind of girl. Maybe some hash browns? Definitely bacon. I do make an exception from time to time when it comes to waffles, however.
In the immortal words of Mitch Hedberg, “Waffles are like pancakes with a syrup trap.” Making them infinitely superior to pancakes, obviously! A waffle is a pancake with a can-do attitude. Pancakes are often sad and soggy, turning down at the edges like a slight frown. They know they’re not as good; we know they’re not as good; nobody’s happy. Waffles are perky and crisp when made right and can brighten up your day. And have you ever had cheesy waffles? WHAT.
I have been making sub-par waffles for a few years now. I don’t know exactly what I’ve been doing wrong, but I really, really want to blame my old waffle iron. I registered for a waffle iron when I was engaged and some extremely generous person obliged and purchased it for me (sorry I don’t remember who it was!). But ever since using it, it has only produced flimsy waffles. I read that I just needed to “break it in,” but I had made waffles quite a few times before deciding that was bogus. I’ve made waffles with cornstarch. And with cornstarch and whipped egg whites. To no avail!
A friend just bought this Oster Belgian waffle maker at Target and was raving about it, so I thought I’d give it a go, considering the relatively low price point. Other “flip” type irons I’ve seen can run as high as $200. Yikes. I’ve always been a bigger fan of Belgian waffles than regular waffles, so it was on my “to buy” list anyway. After I brought it home, my husband informed me that I would have been getting a Belgian waffle iron for Christmas this year if I hadn’t purchased it myself. I’m always ruining Christmas with my impatience.
Anyway, these waffles were perfect. They were thick, with crispy edges and fluffy wonderful insides. I wanted to use them as pillows and go back to bed. But there was, of course, more work to be done. Since I’m pregnant, everyone is rubbing it in my face that I can’t drink, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still cook with booze now and then! I broke out some dark rum and 99 Bananas and cooked up Bananas Foster straight from the original Brennan’s recipe.
I was a little nervous about the flames, but my syrup didn’t catch dramatically, so I ran my kitchen torch over the bananas and syrup for good measure. Add maple whipped cream and we’ve got a waffle that is suitable for breakfast or dessert. Breakfast dessert? We’ve all been there.
- 1½ cups (180 grams) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar
- ¼ cup (28 grams) cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 cup heavy cream, cold
- ¼ cup (60 grams) butter
- 1 cup (215 grams) brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup banana liqueur
- 3 bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then halved*
- ¼ cup dark rum
- Preheat your waffle iron according to manufacturer instructions. Preheat your oven to 200°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until just combined.
- Use about 1 cup of batter per waffle and cook waffles according to your waffle iron's manufacturer's instructions. Mine took about 4 minutes each. (Smaller waffle irons may require less batter and different cooking times.)
- Place finished waffles in a single layer on a baking sheet and pop into your preheated oven to keep warm.
- Whip maple syrup and heavy cream in a mixing bowl using either a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. (You can also use your arm strength and a whisk if you are The Hulk.) Whip until peaks form. Keep chilled while you make the syrup.
- In a large stainless or cast iron skillet, melt butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together over low heat. When the brown sugar has dissolved in the butter, carefully pour in banana liqueur and stir to combine.
- Add banana slices, cut side down, then flip them over so the cut side is face up and the bananas are coated in syrup. Cook until the bananas begin to soften and brown slightly. Carefully pour in rum, then use a kitchen torch (or a long-stemmed lighter or match) to catch the syrup on fire. When the flames subside, remove the pan from the heat.
- Remove the waffles from the oven and place each one on a plate. Place four banana slices on the top of each waffle. Drizzle waffles with the warm syrup. Pipe or dollop maple whipped cream on top of each waffle and serve immediately.
- *If your waffle iron is slightly smaller/less thick, you may get 4 waffles out of this recipe. If that is the case, simply add an additional banana to the syrup, so that each person gets a whole banana on top of his/her waffle.