No, that is not a super-burnt waffle! It is a delicious, dense, not-too-sweet double chocolate waffle courtesy of February 2014 issue of Bon Appetit. (And, in case you're wondering, those are not yellow grape tomatoes! They are kumquats I got from our organic produce box last Friday.)
Last Sunday morning I was at a loss, pondering what I wanted for breakfast and weighing whether I should go to Alexander’s Breakfast and Lunch and risk the staff there wondering whether I ever cook my own food (since I had been there just the day before for a brunch with some girlfriends). Luckily, Will had it all worked out and started taking items out of the pantry and turning the oven on. Since he was heating the oven only to 250, I knew that he wasn’t actually baking something but rather preparing the oven to receive foods to stay warm while he cooked up the rest of the batch of . . . pancakes (I thought not) or, more likely, waffles . . . !
Then when he asked whether the Ghirardelli cocoa we had was unsweetened, I recalled him making some noise earlier in the week about testing out the “Dark Chocolate Waffles” recipe from Bon Appetit. (Click here for recipe.) It turned out that he actually didn’t need to worry about the Ghirardelli since we had enough of the Droste Cocoa for the waffles. I was thankful for that since Will is a bit more particular than I am about the chemistry of baking—it’s the Thomas Keller in him, I think—and I was worried that my special weekend breakfast would be derailed by him wondering whether it was ok to supplement Dutch-processed cocoa with a miniscule portion of non-Dutch processed cocoa. Thank goodness that discussion didn’t have to happen!
But then he surprised me. The recipe called for 2 cups buttermilk which we knew we didn’t have enough of (and the cup we did have had been sitting in the fridge for longer than I care to admit publicly). He said he could make the rest of the buttermilk—you know, adding vinegar to milk, etc.? I suggested that it’s not clear to me that we absolutely NEED the “slight tang” that the buttermilk would add to the waffles. Really, how tang-y do I need chocolate products? Well, my formerly recipe-sticking husband then made the executive decision to use one cup buttermilk and substitute regular milk for the remainder. I think he was a bit burned by my barely-suppressed glee when the most expensive and time-consuming madeleines recipe ever (!) from Bouchon Bakery Cookbook turned out to be a royal pain—and not that special to boot. (Read post here.)
Well, these chocolate waffles were pretty special. And since we just had some more for breakfast this morning—frozen and then reheated—I can even guarantee that they stay special through unceremonious storage. Will was very excited about how well they turned out, and he deserves almost all the credit since I did very little. I started contributing to the cooking process by trying to get 6 oz. of our 72% Belgian Dark Chocolate to be “finely chopped.” Well, that process took the entire time that Will got the rest of the recipe ready.
Will didn’t want the chocolate to get melted in a food processor. I was more worried that because of the thickness and the hardness of the block chocolate from Trader Joe’s, the food processor blades might get warped! Anyway, the “finely chopped” chocolate does add the occasional extra bits of oozing melted chocolate and bits of extra dark color and interest, so we decided that was worth the labor. (See the picture below for the bits of chocolate in the batter and the picture at the top of the post for the melted dark chocolate specks.)
Sure, we’ll make these again!