Saturday, November 20, 2010

November 14. 2010: Rum-banana waffles

After years of claiming my icecream maker as my one single-use totally inessential but much-loved appliance, I've caved and acquired another. This month I traded in six years' credit card points for a waffle iron. I blame Isa Chandra Moskowitz and her irresistible Vegan Brunch. The omelettes, scrambles, hash browns and home fries are unbeatable, but they only had me wanting more. Every time we pulled the book from the shelf I couldn't help flicking through and lingering longingly over the seven waffle recipes, several of them photographed in drool-inducing poses with plump fruit and lurid syrups.

When my highly anticipated waffle iron arrived I happily hefted it home from the post office, devoured the manual, carefully followed the seasoning instructions and started simple, with Isa's recipe for old-fashioned Chelsea waffles. It was painful to toss my first pan-full in the bin but the manual insisted on it (I presume they soaked up the worst of the chemicals the iron is treated with). The next lot were well worth the time it took to do them properly - we ate them for breakfast with lightly stewed cinnamon apples and a splash of maple syrup. We gradually finished the rest, jam-smeared, as snacks.

I reckon the only way you'd possibly pick these as vegan is through their distinct lack of egginess. They're gently sweet (I added maple syrup instead of Isa's barley malt syrup) and a little cornmeal supplements the flour; these ingredients served to totally overpower the soy milk and lend the waffles a satisfying chewiness. And I learned the hard way that waffle batter doesn't work like muffin mixture - any flour that's not mixed in thoroughly ultimately pops up as an unpleasant chalky clump.

One day later I made more, rationalising this as a way to use up a not-so-fresh banana and stock myself with workday afternoon snacks. I added some vanilla-infused rum and a pinch of nutmeg to perk up that sad banana and flipped round the mixing (whisking wet gradually into dry) to avoid the flour pockets. Perfect! I've enjoyed these waffles best straight out of the toaster and slathered with peanut butter.

Rum-banana waffles
(inspired by the Old-fashioned Chelsea waffles in Vegan Brunch)

1 large banana
1 tablespoon vanilla-infused white rum
2 cups plain flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cornflour
pinch of nutmeg
2 cups soy milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup

In a small bowl, mash the banana and stir in the rum. Set it aside.

In a medium-large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, cornflour and nutmeg.

In a small-medium bowl, whisk together the milk, vinegar, oil and maple syrup.

Gradually whisk half of the wet ingredients into the bowl of flour until smooth and thick. Stir in the banana, then whisk in the remaining liquid to attain a smooth batter.

Cook the batter in a waffle iron, following to the manufacturer's instructions.


  1. I definitely wouldn't have picked those as vegan from just looking at them, they look so plump and gorgeous, lovely to know that they're egg-free. Hooray for inessential appliances!

  2. My mum is anti all kitchen gadgets (bar electric mixers, and toasters, pretty much... she won't even get a rice cooker), and part of this abstemiousness has rubbed off on me. Except over recent months, I've started desperately wanting an ice cream maker (your vegan salted caramel kind helped there)... and now I want a waffle maker.

    Stupid poor-ness.

    Oh, and this looks delicious. Clearly. :P

  3. Oh no! I traded my credit card points for a waffle iron too but got the sunbeam one and am pretty disappointed with the waffles: too thin and they dry out! Yours look like Belgian waffles: what brand is the iron?

  4. They look fantastic! I can now enjoy waffles with homemade ice cream, if only my waffle iron wasn't in storage!

  5. My mum's kitchen gadgets didn't extend further than the trusty Kenwood mixer beast and someone's misguided gift of an electric knife. The latter was used once and then disappeared into the back of a cupboard. But one day a client of my father's sent home a shiny green waffle iron and it was loved to death til the electrics eventually gave out. About 20 years ago I went in search of my own stove top one. I figured there'd be no wiring malfunctions and the sturdy beauty would be with me for life.

    It's looking shaby and dusty now, as it's been in the shed for the last 4 years. But your waffles look so good, I'm bringing it back into service. Want more waffle recipes now!

  6. I'm not vegan, in fact not even vegetarian but lovin' your blog all the same!

  7. I had waffles at the market on the weekend and they were quite eggy - waffles that don't taste eggy sounds excellent to me- I am jealous of your waffle maker but my kitchen is bursting at the seams - but keep tempting me with such deliciousness and who knows!

  8. if i dont eat these i will die a lesser human being...must have....!

  9. Mmm.. they look fabulous! I second Lexi's question - could you tell us the brand of the waffle iron? I want to buy one that goes on the stove, as the electric ones tend to make thin dry waffles.

    xox Sarah

  10. Hayley, I don't know if you'd pick them as vegan to taste them either. :-D

    Hannah, I can understand your mum's attitude. I suppose my 'in' was buying my own icecream maker while still living with my parents, a time when I had no need to spend on more practical kitchen equipment or worry about cupboard space!

    Lexi & Sarah, you'll be surprised to know that my waffle iron is both a Sunbeam and electric - it's this one. And as you noted, the waffles are reasonably thick. It has a temperature control, which might help a clever cook avoid dry waffles.

    Mandee, I reckon a waffle maker and icecream maker make a great team. :-D

    Thanks for sharing that story, AOF. I'd love to see your iron on your blog if you do pull it out.

    Thanks, Rumbaba! Nice to have you visit. :-)

    Johanna, I'm sure we can get you your share of eggless waffles at a future potluck. :-)

    Ha, Nicole! You might remain a slimmer human being, however. ;-)

  11. Oh oh...

    These look divine! We actually had an electric waffle iron while we were growing up. So much easier to make than pancakes!

    My immediate thought when I read this post is that I need to see if the old machine is kicking around at my parents place and whip up a batch for myself... I haven't had a waffle since I went wheat-free 6 years ago!

  12. Emily, I'd be very interested in seeing whether you come up with something delicious using non-wheat flours! The appliance manual had a recipe for gluten-free waffles that was identical to the basic one, except that it included an equal quantity of "gluten-free flour". *eye-roll*

  13. Six years of credit card points, this waffle iron has a lot to live up to. And how reads the manuals, only scientific geeks :-)

    Have you used the waffle iron since? I always think of items like waffle irons, ice cream makers, ice shavers as single use items that just take up kitchen space?

  14. We're getting good use out of it so far! I've been making a dozen waffles on the weekend, storing them in the freezer and taking them to work as a toaster-friendly snack.

    And then Michael pulled the waffle iron out last weekend for our icecream party...! Excellent use of two single-purpose appliances. :-)

  15. Sounds like you're getting some use out of the waffle iron then. Love the sound of the party.

    Funnily, I got given a pancake maker last Saturday. It makes two tiny pancakes each time, and takes about 3 mins. I wonder how often I'll use that. Might need to "re-gift" that present since I dont think I can pre-make pancakes and then re-toast them after taking out of freezer? Do you think pancakes can be frozen like waffles?

  16. Hmmm, that doesn't sound any more convenient than the more traditional way of making pancakes! I've never thought to freeze them, no idea whether it works... I imagine them being a floppy nuisance in a toaster. :-D