Friends, I’m back. Man, 2015 has started out rough, huh? First the stroke of my friend’s baby (he’s back at home now and is gaining skills back like a champion!), then I came down with a stomach bug last week. Blehhh. So I’ve missed a few posts, haven’t stuck to my blogging resolutions (probably like 90% of everyone else who made resolutions this year), and have just generally been going nuts.
One of the good things (there actually have already been many good things) that happened so far this year was a date night I recently took with Phillip. It was our first night away from Nolan. We went to dinner, saw the Newsies: The Musical at the Ohio Theatre, stayed at a fancy schmancy hotel downtown (It had a second room we didn’t even use! The luxury!), then woke up, had breakfast at a nearby restaurant, and took a walk by the river/construction. It was romantic.
I missed my baby some, but it was so nice to spend that alone time with my husband. I sometimes forget how important that is! Nolan was a Sleepover Hero and my dad declared him “The Most Pleasant Kid on the Planet.” I already knew that. He also wins superlatives of Cutest Baby Ever and Most Times Spitting Up On Mom’s Face.
So anyway, somewhere during that relaxing weekend getaway with my husband, I dreamed up this waffle cake. Look, I know berries aren’t in season. But I’m sick of winter and apparently Mexico is still sending us berries, so why waste all the effort they’ve put into harvesting them and shipping them here? It would just be rude.
In an effort to keep at least ONE of my resolutions, I also decided to make the waffles in this cake yeasted waffles. Because I want to become besties with yeast this year (see babas, here). So I made this waffle cake and made an absolute mess in my kitchen and then pretended it didn’t exist for a couple hours while Nolan napped, and I looked at amusing T-shirts online. Because what else am I supposed to be doing?
Nolan awakened, and upon hearing his cry in the monitor, I realized that I have big girl responsibilities. So I fetched him, positioned the high chair near the sink, stuck him inside, and commenced scrubbing. Nolan watched me quietly but intently, and after a while I felt pressured to be more entertaining. I started reciting the story of The Little Red Hen from memory. For the record, the last time I have heard/read that story was probably 15 years ago.
An excerpt from my version: “The Little Red Hen walked over to the meadow where the goats were and said, ‘Will you help me bake some bread?’ And the goats were like, ‘No, we’re playing and jumping all over shit!’ So The Little Red Hen was like, ‘FINE. I’ll make my own damn bread.'” The other animals were busy doing normal things (eating grass, getting their manes groomed, rolling in mud, etc.), but I couldn’t remember what the heck goats do. I mean, the cows had already been making milk, so I couldn’t just repeat that for the goats. I have standards.
Storytelling won’t be nearly as much fun once Nolan can understand me and I have to watch my mouth.
Back to this waffle cake. It is incredible. I want to eat it every weekend for breakfast, but I would gain 600 pounds and that would probably make shuffling around my kitchen a bit more difficult. Life is not fair.
- ¼ cup warm water (about 110°F)
- 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¼ cup (60 grams) melted butter
- 1 cup (240 mL) whole milk
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ cups (180 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- zest from 1 Meyer lemon
- 1½ teaspoons poppy seeds
- 1 cup (150 grams) blackberries, divided
- 1 cup (150 grams) blueberries, divided
- 1 cup (120 grams) raspberries, divided
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- juice from 1 Meyer lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- 1½ cups cold heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons crème fraîche
- The night before you will serve the cake, prepare the waffle batter. Whisk together warm water and yeast in a large mixing bowl. While the yeast dissolves, combine butter, milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Melt the butter, whisk everything together, and heat until just warm, somewhere around 90°, but the temperature doesn't need to be exact. If it's not too hot for your finger, it's good!
- Whisk the milk mixture into the yeast. Stir in the flour with a rubber spatula until thoroughly combined and no flour remains. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest overnight.
- In the morning, heat a round Belgian waffle maker to medium heat. Whisk the beaten egg, baking soda, lemon zest, and poppy seeds into the yeasted batter until thoroughly combined. Ladle batter into the waffle maker (it took about 1½ cups of batter per waffle in my waffle iron) and cook until waffle is crispy and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from waffle iron and transfer to a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining batter to make 3 total waffles.
- In a large saucepan, combine ⅓ cup (50 grams) blackberries, ⅓ cup (50 grams) blueberries, and ⅓ cup (40 grams) raspberries, granulated sugar, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to simmer (you can crush some of the berries with a rubber spatula to help things along). Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, until berries have broken down and the sauce is slightly thickened.
- Pour the sauce through a fine mesh sieve and into a measuring cup, pressing the berries against the sieve with a rubber spatula to get as much juice out as possible. Allow to cool slightly as you make the whipped cream.
- In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream on medium-high speed until it just starts to hold its shape. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and continue beating until stiff peaks form and cream is very thick. Add crème fraîche and beat until just combined.
- Fill a 14-inch piping bag fitted with a large open star tip with the whipped cream. Combine remaining berries and toss to mix them up.
- Place one waffle onto a cake plate. Pipe a border of stars around the edge of the waffle. Pour one-third of the berry syrup into the center of the waffle. Place one-third of the mixed berries over the syrup. Stack the next waffle on top of the first layer and repeat this process again until all the waffles and ingredients are used. If desired, sprinkle a little more lemon zest on top for garnish. Slice and serve immediately.
- I used this waffle maker that I bought at Target for pretty cheap. So far I like it a lot, but I can't speak to its durability in the long run (and I'm not getting paid to say this or sell it to you!).