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Dark chocolate waffles use cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate

A weekend with my sisters is a jaunt to the basics. Chocolate. Carbs. Sugar.

So when it came to breakfast, I knew I had to sweeten the deal. Lila, the youngest, is the trickier one to appease. She wants a fluffy, tender pancake rather than a crisp-edged waffle. Danny and I love the texture of waffles, so I tried to sway her with chocolate. I didn't mention that it was dark chocolate rather than the milky, more sugary kind she's used to eating.

From her and Danny's latest couch fort, I heard her pleas to take some of the batter and make a couple of pancakes. Just try a piece of the waffle, I said. I broke off a piece of one, buttered it up, and placed it in her hand before she could object. All I heard after that were the cries of Lilo & Stitch on the TV.

Soon we were all seated at the table. She seemed to quickly warm to the idea of waffles instead of her beloved pancakes for breakfast.

"How do you like them, Lila?"

"They're good. I like your waffles," she said. "They're only good if they're homemade. That's a fact."

No argument there. On her last waffle square, she spread the butter to cover as much surface area as possible. She broke pieces of bacon and layered them all over the top. She prepared her last perfect bites with such care, and then she dug in. My other sister, Melly, really liked these, too, without butter. These dark chocolate waffles are on the tender side, which is what they both prefer.

Visits to Bern's for sundaes, mornings at the farmers market in St. Pete, and forts made with couches and sheets continue to be traditions when my sisters visit, and now I bet we'll be adding these chocolate waffles to the list. Though to be honest, I may have to treat myself to another batch of these before their next weekend in town. The all-carb, pro-chocolate diet is not easy to get off of once you're on it, especially when I consider Lila's advice.

Lila: "Thirty-five is old."

Me: "I only have 10 years left."

Lila: "Well, you better use those years wisely."

Ileana Morales is a writer who cooks in a small apartment kitchen in Tampa with boyfriend Danny Valentine, an education reporter for the Tampa Bay Times. For more of their kitchen adventures, visit Ileana's blog, alittlesaffron.com. She can be reached at alittlesaffron@gmail.com.

>>Moderate

Dark Chocolate Waffles

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 large eggs, separated

2 cups buttermilk

½ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 70 percent cacao), finely chopped

Butter, maple syrup and flaky salt, for serving

Heat oven to 250 degrees. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add egg yolks, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Whisk together dry and wet ingredients until just combined.

Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Fold half the egg whites into the batter until just combined. Repeat with the rest. Fold in chocolate.

Heat a waffle iron until very hot. Coat waffle plates lightly with nonstick spray or grease with butter. Ladle batter into waffle iron a ½ cupful at a time, press down the top of the iron and cook for a few minutes until the waffle is cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack or baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm as you finish the rest of the batter.

Serve waffles warm with butter, maple syrup and a sprinkling of sea salt.

Serves 6.

Source: Bon Appétit magazine

Dark chocolate waffles use cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate 03/03/14 [Last modified: Monday, March 3, 2014 4:48pm]
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