Just before the holidays, I bought myself a new waffle maker in anticipation of lots of family gatherings and big breakfasts. My old waffle maker has served me well, but we got it as a wedding present 17 years ago and it just wasn't cutting it any more. It was starting to stick more and more, plus those fancy Belgian types looked so yummy and fun, so I bought me one of these after reading lots of great reviews on it.
Before using it, I found myself asking the question - what is the difference between waffle batter and pancake mix? I always thought it was oil - waffle batter has more oil than pancake batter/mix so it won't stick to the griddle. Then I Googled my question and found my answer, but I was STILL a bit skeptical and really wanted to try out my go-to MOMables' pancake recipe on it, so that I did. But guess what? I didn't turn out so great. It was waaaaay too dense, thick and heavy and it felt like I was eating a brick of whole wheat goodness (not tastiness). There was my answer!
So, what is the difference between Belgian waffle batter and pancake mix you ask?
Well, aside from the obvious size difference, Belgian waffle batter/mix is made by separating out the eggs. The egg yolks and egg whites are separated out and prepared differently. The yolks are mixed into the flour, milk and other ingredients while the egg whites are whipped and folded in at the end. This is what gives Belgian waffles their soft, moist insides and crispy outside.
Therefore, if you take your normal pancake mix (or regular waffle mix for that matter since I've always successfully used them interchangeably with my old, thinner-type waffle maker) and pour it into a Belgian waffle maker, you will get a thick, dense, dry, heavy brick of a waffle. Bleah. Ok, they weren't terrible and we were able to make a breakfast out of my first batch, but they weren't melt-in-your mouth tasty like the ones we made at the free hotel breakfast we had a couple weeks back. Boo!
So, in my second attempt, made for Goompa and Goompa (hubby's dad and his wife) in addition to the regular crew, I decided not to mess with this recipe I found online - My Food Network's Belgian Waffles by Emeril and made it exactly as is. I didn't even make my usual substitution of some whole wheat flour for white nor did I add any wheat germ or ground flax seed and guess what? They turned out DE-Lish! Of course they would! Whew. I was just glad not to screw it up - AGAIN. :)
I could already see that these were gonna be better than the last, just by the look of the batter. So light and fluffy, thanks to the addition of those whipped egg whites.
This waffle maker is awesome. I love that you can dial up how light or dark (aka crispy or not) you want your waffles to be and it dings when it's done. But my favorite feature is that you don't have to spray the grills at all for them to come out crispy and non-sticking. The clean up on this is nearly non-existent. All I had to do was wipe some minimal crumbs off with a wet rag after it cooled off. Sweet!
Though my first attempt at making waffles wasn't the most successful, my second was. Yay!
In this breakfast:
- Belgian Waffles
- MOMables' Homemade Blueberry Syrup
- Cantaloupe and blueberries
- Daddy's delicious scrambled eggs (not pictured)
I'm happy to report that the waffles were a hit by all and Little Sis even topped her second one w/ Daddy's delicious eggs.
That's it! That's all I know about Belgian waffles. Happy waffle-making (and eating)! :)
And this is just between you and me (ie don't tell my hubby)... I originally bought this waffle to replace the old one, but upon using it, though I love love love it, I'm not sure I can part w/ the one I got for our wedding - part sentimentality and part because I don't think I want to mess with whipping egg whites every time I wanna make waffles. Sometimes, you just want the thin kind, ya know? Soo, shhhhhh, it's our little secret. ;)
Nature's Own - for providing such a large variety of healthy, yummy breads!
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