Welcome to the Part II of the Waffle Bake Off series, in which we search for the best ever buttermilk-style waffle recipe!
Buttermilk-style waffles are probably the kind that most Americans are familiar with. They may not necessarily have buttermilk in the list of ingredients, but the leaveners come from baking powder and/or baking soda rather than yeast. Compared to yeast waffles, they tend to be softer (and sometimes sweeter), but this often means they can list soggy and cardboard-like. Happily, the handful of tasters who attended both the yeast and buttermilk waffle tastings told me they far preferred buttermilk waffles. So let’s talk about why!
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In other unsurprising news, I’m still obsessed with aquafaba (the miracle chickpea brine egg replacer). It’s just so great when you need to add a bit more heft or volume to a recipe, or when you want to halve a recipe without doing egg division.
Real life discussion: I spent last last weekend in NYC visiting friends and WOW was it a different experience from the last time I visited. It was kind of like returning home from college and having those weird jolts of realization that you are a different person than when you left based on frames of reference like the size of your bed, the height of the kitchen counter. Yes this happened even though I’ve only been to NYC a grand total of maybe 5 times.
The last time I visited, I was nearly a year out of college and pondering making the move to a more metropolitan city that wasn’t Houston; after visiting, I was positive I didn’t need to live there. This time, I left with a distinct sense of loss–so many of my friends are making great strides that busy city and it’s really inspiring. Plus, the food. HEART EYE EMOJI FOREVER.
Some places I visited:
- Franchia: vegan Korean restaurant. I tried their $16 bento box for lunch with fried eggplant, a vegetarian dumpling and egg roll, salad and brown rice. The faux shrimp was interesting, but the overall taste was just okay.
- Dough: lemon poppyseed doughnut. Cynthia took me here, so of course her taste proved flawless–LOVED this super fluffy yet slightly dense doughnut. Hate to say it, but outdid all the doughnuts I tried in Portland.
- Maison Kayser: pistachio madeleines, choquettes and raspberry financier. Had to try this after my obsession with Eric Kayser in Paris; didn’t quite live up to the Paris locations, but still solid. The choquettes were my favorite!
- Tiny Empire: Goji berry, coconut, almond butter and banana smoothie. Fantastic!
- Clinton Street Baking Co: blueberry pancakes and scone. I’d heard about the cult following behind this place’s pancakes for years (and tried making Izy’s version at home). I fell in love with the scones, but the pancakes–while delicious–weren’t quite my ultimate pancake. Still, everything was very well executed and I would definitely go back (probably for dinner since you can still order breakfast foods and the wait time is reportedly much less crazy. We waited 2+ hours.)
- Dominique Ansel: kouign amann and chocolate chip cookie. Kouign amann was fantastic; cookie was below average. Apparently you can order cronuts ahead of time now and skip the line when you pick them up! Noted for next time.
- The Original Yonah Schimmel Knishery: spinach knish. We stumbled on this place by accident while wandering around waiting for our Clinton Street Baking Co. text and fell in love with these knishes. Those steaming bundles of warm potato are so so perfect for cool weather eating!
- Mermaid Inn: brussels sprouts + drinks. SUCH AN ADORABLE, dimly lit restaurant. Great happy hour drinks and $1 oysters. They give you really addictive seedy crackers and butter as well as complimentary chocolate pudding and fortune teller fish. Loved this place; would go back in a heartbeat.
- Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream: mini scone and peanut butter granola cookie. Unfortunately I didn’t try any of their vegan ice creams which sounded amazing, but definitely noted for next time! Baked goods were solid.
Now that you’re hungry for all these places that are probably miles and miles away, let’s talk waffles. These have a really grainy, hearty texture that I loved–the edges are crispy, and the insides are dense and sweet. They really don’t need syrup; I also really enjoyed these with nut butter and thin slices of banana.