Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chocolate Waffles with Cherry Bourbon Compote and Fresh Whipped Cream

Please excuse this minor break in the regularly scheduled luau menu... 

Two weeks have passed since our last chance to enjoy Sunday morning waffles.  Since that time I've created a short list of combinations I am itching to try.  Chocolate waffles?  Breakfast for dessert, baby.  What better toppings to pair chocolate with than juicy cherries and velvety whipped cream.  You may never go back to syrup again...

the compote recipe is my own
the whipped cream recipe is adapted from BHG Cookbook
the chocolate waffles are adapted from Gale Gand's recipe at

Makes 4-8 waffles, depending on the waffle iron.
The Ingredients:
6 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup bourbon
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 lb (about 2 1/2 cups) fresh cherries, rinsed and pitted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp corn starch

for the whipped cream
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

for the waffles
2 eggs, separated
3 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup salted butter, melted

The Process:
for the compote
In a medium saucepan combine water, bourbon, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Continue to boil until thin syrup forms, about 7 minutes. Reduce to simmer; add cherries and vanilla extract. Cook over medium heat, stirring gently for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cherries soften, but retain their shape.  Remove cherries from the syrup with a slotted spoon and set aside in a serving dish.  Add the corn starch to the syrup, whisking until well combined.  Bring the syrup to gentle boil and cook until  thickened and reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Pour syrup over cherries.  Cool, cover and set aside.

for the whipped cream
In a chilled bowl combine whipping cream, sugar and vanilla.  Beat with chilled beaters on medium speed until soft peaks form.  Set aside in the fridge.

for the waffles
Preheat oven to 200 and warm up the waffle iron

In a medium bowl whisk the whites by hand or with a mixer until soft peaks form.   Add the sugar and continue whipping until stiff.

In a medium bowl whisk the egg yolks and milk until well combined.  Slowly incorporate the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.  Add melted butter and mix until smooth. Gently old in the whipped whites, being careful not to overwork the batter.

Brush or mist the waffle iron lightly with oil and spoon batter into waffle iron, spreading quickly with a spatula to cover the entire griddle surface (amount varies depending on waffle iron, mine uses just over 1/2 a cup). Cook according to iron manufacturer’s instructions.

Transfer waffles to rack in oven to keep warm and crisp. Make more waffles in same manner.

The Review:
Pure unadulterated bliss.  Tart cherries; red, ripe and round.  Erupting with a juicy burst of bourbon.  Smooth, velvety whipped cream offering a rich douse of sweetness to cut the tang of the fruit and slightly bitter cocoa.  Wonderfully white and as pure and light as summer clouds.  And the dark platter of  decadence that supports it all...the rich chocolate waffle.

Taken together this combination is a force to be reckoned with.  And for the most part the components stand well on their own.  The only downside was the texture of the waffles.  For some reason this version did not puff up and retain its shape as well as previous waffles had.  The underside was nicely crisped while shielding a fluffy interior...the top side unfortunately remained slight soft and deflated beautiful geometric ridges to contain the cherry studded heaven that the waffles supported.  With a tweak or two to make the waffle stand on its own, this may be the best Belgian inspired breakfast variation yet.

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