Waffles in New York – Part I

New York may not occur to you as a city of waffles, but during my time there I have devoured a number of these sweet treats, big and small.

Big – American waffle

Outside Balthazar - the unofficial flagship brasserie of NY

View of Balthazar from our table by the window

Love the lemons lined up around the raw bar

Balthazar – My favourite breakfast/brunch/lunch/afternoon tea spot in the city. I was living a mere 3 blocks away from this Soho institution, and can’t help but have spent countless hours there just watching the world go by. The bright red awnings, green wooden benches (a bit wobbly), the bustling world inside. A revolving door of entertainment.

Sour Cream Hazelnut Waffles with Warm Berries

The mouth-watering waffles are my way of delaying the start of my usually busy day. This American version of waffles is simply irresistible because they are light and tangy and possess a faint taste of hazelnut.

Balthazar Restaurant
Add: 80 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012 (Btn Broadway & Crosby)
Tel: +1 212 965 1414

If you would like to attempt replicating this at home, here is a handy recipe from none other than Keith McNally, the proud owner of Balthazar.

The Balthazar Cookbook

Ingredients (makes 16-18 waffles):
plain flour 450g
baking powder 2½ tsp
salt ½ tsp
bicarbonate of soda ½ tsp
caster sugar 1 tsp
eggs 3
soured cream 350ml
milk 350ml
butter 175g, plus extra for greasing the waffle iron
honey 75ml
hazelnuts 115g, toasted and roughly chopped (optional: reserve some for toppings)

For the warm berries:
fresh strawberries 150g, hulled
fresh raspberries 200g
fresh blueberries 200g
fresh blackberries 175g
caster sugar 100g
freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tbsp, from ½ lemon

Warm berries on waffles = perfection

1. Sift the dry ingredients together
2. In a large bowl, combine and mix the eggs, soured cream and milk. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk or beat together until smooth.
3. Melt the butter and honey together in a pan and add to the rest, stirring well. Let the batter sit for at least 30 minutes.
4. Melt some extra butter to grease the waffle iron. Pour in enough batter to fill the waffle iron, sprinkle chopped hazelnuts over the batter and close the waffle iron.
5. Follow the waffle iron’s manufacturer’s instructions to make the waffles. (Just like when you make crêpes, the first waffle will not be the prettiest.)
6. Wash the berries in a colander and pick through, discarding any that seem overripe or damaged.
7. Transfer half of the berries to a medium saucepan and add the sugar and lemon juice.
8. Turn the heat to medium-low and stir until the berries start to break down. Continue to stir until a simmer is achieved, about 5 minutes. Press through a sieve into a saucepan.
10. Add the remaining whole berries and warm through. Serve with the waffles.

The recipe calls for full-fat version of everything but can subsitute the sour cream with non-fat (if you really have to…) organic Greek yoghurt.

Please watch this space for another culinary discovery of waffles in New York… the small Belgian Liège waffle.

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About Patricia

Born in Hong Kong and studied in England for most of her life. Transplanted herself to Tokyo, New York and finally back to her root. Having treated her taste buds to the best of these continents have to offer, she has decided to invite others to join her on her gastronomic voyage. Full-time food lover, part-time cook who wants to enjoy the pleasures of life, mostly at the dining table.
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