I’m not here to engage with the pancake vs. waffle debate, though I could probably write a dissertation on that. Rather, I’m here to be that pretentious hipster that likes to bastardize all that’s pure – in this case, waffles.
A proper waffle experience tends to go as follows: a standard, crispy waffle, perhaps made with your favorite pre-packaged pancake batter, sometimes with fruits or chocolate chips cooked inside, all smothered in Mrs. Butterworth’s (or real maple syrup, if you’re feeling extra fancy).
I’m here to offer the antithesis to that. Trendy buckwheat flour, raspberries, white chocolate chunks cut from a good quality chocolate bar, and just because I love fostering self-hatred, a sprinkling of cocoa nibs for a bitter garnish. I couldn’t even give myself the satisfaction of dousing these in syrup. No, I went ahead and used warmed sweetened condensed milk as my sauce. I am literally all that’s wrong with the world.
(In my defense, I grew up watching my dad top his freshly toasted Eggo waffles with sweetened condensed milk – it was a learned behavior).
I wish I could say that I can’t stand our current food culture, that trend of nouveau-American cuisine, oversaturated with deconstructions and over-complicatings of simple foods to get those #instaworthy pics. I wish I could say I didn’t partake in that culture myself. But I love it. I love all of the ridiculous toast “recipes” that emphasize artisanal bread and bougie local butter. I absolutely live for naked wedding cakes and putting edible flowers and microgreens on anything and everything. Bircher muesli and brown rice sushi hand-rolls? I eat those gimmicks up. Do I think that in five or ten years, I’ll look back at now and wince? Probably.
Despite this, there’s something kind of endearing, exciting even, about the innovation and multicultural awareness that this sort of arms-race for the next chic foodstuff fosters. Avocado toast is good. Avocado toast topped with dukkah (a Moroccan spice blend) may even be better. We are living in a formative culinary period, one where people know about kimchi and other “exotic” ingredients and use them everyday, where sous vide and poaching are becoming popular cooking methods, and where ‘playing with food’ has entirely new connotations.
Maybe this recipe is unnecessary, even a little bit pretentious, but it also works. The buckwheat flour has this toasted earthy flavor to it, making a waffle that compares to a standard one somewhat like how a crusty, dark rye bread compares to a supermarket white. These waffles are crisp, yet rich and fluffy on the inside, holding their own against the slightly tart raspberries and saccharine morsels of white chocolate. The sweetened condensed milk seeps into the stack, like melted ice cream into a cone, saturating every bite with its gooey sweetness. And honestly, the bitterness of the cocoa nibs is kind of necessary with all that other stuff going on.
We are a modern people. Perhaps we should expand our definition of sacred foods to allow for more interpretation.
White Chocolate Raspberry Buckwheat Waffles
(Makes about 10 waffles)
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup plain yogurt
2 ounces white chocolate, chopped into chunks
1 cup raspberries, roughly chopped (plus more for serving)
Cocoa nibs, for serving
Warmed sweetened condensed milk, for serving
Heat your waffle iron.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, stir together the milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until just incorporated (leave some lumps!). Gently fold in the yogurt until it’s mixed in and then stir in the white chocolate and raspberries.
Scoop a ⅓ cup of batter onto your waffle iron and cook according to its instructions. I like to cook mine on a higher temperature to ensure maximum crispiness.
Serve the waffles a mile high and topped with all of the goodies aforementioned. Make sure to include an artful drizzle of sweetened condensed milk.
Note: I use a ⅓ cup of batter for each waffle because it doesn’t quite fill the iron, creating cool rustic edges. If you would just prefer a full waffle, go ahead an add bit more batter.