With an extra vanilla bean in my spice cabinet and the taste for Belgian waffles this week, I knew exactly what we would be having for breakfast on Sunday. I’ve had this Vanilla Bean Waffle recipe tucked away on one of my Pinterest boards for some time. If you’ve ever cooked with paste from a vanilla bean you know that it provides a really deep flavor. And if you look closely at one of the Vanilla Bean Waffles you can see that it’s speckled with vanilla. Kind of like vanilla ice cream.
If you don’t have a vanilla bean you can still make these waffles. They’ll still be delicious so it won’t be the end of the world, but the waffles won’t have the profound vanilla flavor the vanilla bean provides. I would substitute a teaspoon of vanilla extract for the paste.
This recipe calls for seltzer water, something I like to drink, but never used as an ingredient before. The seltzer water enhances the waffle, making it light and airy with a crisp outer shell. I’ve never done this before, but I’ve heard of people using ginger ale in waffle and pancake batter for the same effect.
Okay, here’s my waffle pro-tip. I use cooking spray in both the top and bottom parts of the waffle iron right before I pour the batter for each waffle. When the waffle is done cooking you’ll be able to remove it with your fingers. If you don’t want to remove it with your fingers, use a non-metallic spatula. Then of course spray both sides of the waffle iron again before pouring more batter. I think the cooking spray not only makes the waffle easier to remove, but also makes the outside a little crispy. If you don’t use cooking spray you’ll likely have a waffle split in two, stuck to both sides of the waffle iron.
I’ll never forget a few years ago when I was on vacation with my family, and we were staying in a hotel with a really nice breakfast bar. The highlight was a Belgian waffle iron where you could make your own waffle, then cover it with all sorts of toppings they provided. There was a really long line for the waffle iron because nobody was using the cooking spray and all the waffles were turning into a giant mess.
The first thing I did making this waffle was whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. I split the vanilla bean in half with a paring knife and scrapped out the paste and added it to the flour mixture along with a couple eggs that were lightly beaten. I added a little vegetable oil and a cup of Greek yogurt; vanilla flavor of course. I whisked the mixture together, then added a cup and a half of seltzer water. The batter was really fizzy and I whisked it again until the batter was well combined.
I already had my waffle iron warming up because you want it to be nice hot before you pour the batter on. I gave it a little squirt of cooking spray, then ladled the batter on the waffle iron. I closed the waffle iron and let it cook. I’ve got anOster Belgian Waffle Iron that has a light that comes on when the waffle is done cooking. So when the green light comes on the waffle is golden brown and ready to eat.
This is my waffle iron, the Oster Flip Belgian waffle Maker. I already mentioned how there’s an indicator light to let you know when the waffle is done, but there’s also an adjustment dial for the cooking time. The iron itself has a one and a half inch Belgian surface that’s nonstick. There’s also a removable plate under the iron itself to catch any batter that overflows from the waffle iron.
Adapter from A Spicy Perspective