Monday, May 27, 2013

Blueberry waffle Baked Alaska

I was raring to go after the Baked Alaska challenge, so I decided whatever Kavey's next challenge was,  I would do it.

When I saw it was wafers, waffles, cones, cups, biscuits and so on, I thought I could put my stroopwaffels idea into action. A baked Alaska of stroopwaffel, caramel ice cream and meringue. How could that not be good?

But when I read closely, I realised Kavey wanted the waffles to be homemade. Spoilsport.

I emailed a Dutch friend, hoping there was some sort of cheat's way to make stroopwaffels, but he said 'I only know of one kind, and it comes in a plastic bag'.

After stroopwaffels – or maybe even before – my favourite type of waffle is a Belgian one, preferably eaten hot from a street stand in Ghent and absolutely covered in chocolate.

Waffle on the griddle pan

So after casting my brain around for ways to make waffles at home without a waffle iron (I didn't get very far), I Googled and realised my grill pan was probably as close as I was going to get, short of welding some sort of grid.

All right. Now, apart from chocolate (too easy!), what goes with waffles? Well, if you're talking American waffles, blueberry syrup. Some people like maple, but for that real American taste, I think you need blueberry.

Still clinging to the baked Alaska idea, I thought 'why not make a waffle base, blueberry sorbet and meringue? It'll be like some ridiculously cracked-out brunch dessert.'

Then I thought of maple meringue, but I knew at that point I was working up to a sweet mingling of flavours that was frankly ridiculous. But whoever came up with the baked Alaska was not put off because it was a ridiculous idea, were they?

No. Mission Ridiculous was on.

Some grooves and crispiness
I used Always Order Dessert's waffle recipe on my griddle pan. The thing is, my griddle pan is really very shallow, and while we got attractive stripes and some crispness, it wasn't anywhere close to a waffle for me. I used medium eggs where the recipe says large, and I think I'd put another one in next time, as the batter was pretty solid. And we were looking at about 10 mins with my hob on 4 (bloody, bloody electric cooker) to start with, until it really got going.

(It's worth looking at Big Spud's blogpost for this challenge, where he cooked the same recipe on a George Foreman grill. That's some good thinking, right there.)

Half-mashed blueberries with lemon zest

Blueberry after being forced through a sieve - the dark stuff is skin pulp

I had actually made the blueberry sorbet the week before, using this recipe. I think I forced too much of the skin through at the end, because it had that slight antiseptic taste the skins give you. But I can generally take or leave blueberries, and Andy liked it, so take that with a pinch of salt. I would also possibly use less lemon next time. I also wish I'd thought of substituting maple syrup for the honey – I bet that would taste really good.

Pouring the maple syrup into the beaten egg whites and sugar
I was also sceptical about the maple meringue. I had thought the chemical composition of stiff-eggs-and-sugar would be destroyed by the liquid maple syrup, but it really isn't bad. I wouldn't do it with a hand-whisk, as you have to whip it back up to stiff peaks once the maple syrup has gone in. It is, of course, really very sickly, and I would use absolutely the best quality maple syrup you can afford.

Blueberry sorbet on waffle
The whole thing does work, narrowly. I can imagine how amazing it would be with a proper, crispy waffle. I also think each of the elements paired together would be great. Waffle and blueberry sorbet would make a great hot-day brunch dish, while waffle with maple syrup meringue nests would make a great end to a dinner party, as would the sorbet and meringue.

The yawning maw; I'm incapable of making an aesthetically pleasing Baked Alaska
This post is part of Kavey Eats' Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream challenge - check it out, it's a lot of fun.

1 comment:

  1. Delicious is far more important than aesthetically pleasing and I do like the idea of a waffle base for a baked alaska! The sorbet sounds very refreshing!