Adding pearl sugar to the dough is the secret to the delicious caramelised crunch of these waffles. Begin this recipe a day ahead to prove the waffle mixture.
- 125 ml (½ cup) warm milk
- 1½ tsp dry yeast
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 300 gm (2 cups) plain flour
- 40 gm brown sugar or maple sugar
- Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 125 gm softened butter
- 50 gm pearl sugar (see note)
- For brushing: vegetable oil
- To serve: maple syrup and chopped roasted pecan
Brown butter pecan ice-cream
- 200 gm cold butter, coarsely chopped
- 500 ml (2 cups) milk
- 50 gm liquid glucose
- 300 ml pouring cream
- 8 egg yolks
- 80 gm brown sugar
- 120 gm pecans, roasted, coarsely chopped
- 400 gm raw caster sugar
- Thinly peeled rind of 1 orange
- 2 cardamom pods, cracked
- 1 each star anise and cinnamon quill
- 4 small ripe pears (such as corella), cored and halved
- 1Combine milk and yeast in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, then add egg and a third of the flour, and stir to combine. Scatter in remaining flour (do not stir) and set aside until yeast mixture bubbles through flour (1 hour). Add sugar, vanilla seeds, 1 tsp fine sea salt and knead until a dough forms (3-5 minutes). Add butter a little at a time, kneading until soft (4-5 minutes). Shape into a ball, place in a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size (2 hours). Knock back dough, wrap in plastic wrap, weight with a plate and refrigerate overnight for flavours to develop.
- 2For brown butter pecan ice-cream, heat a saucepan over medium-high heat, add butter and swirl until golden brown and foaming (4-5 minutes). Strain off clarified butter (reserve for another use) and place solids in a bowl. Bring milk, glucose and half the cream to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (2-3 minutes), add butter solids and whisk to combine. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture, then transfer to a clean saucepan and stir over medium heat until mixture thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon (6-8 minutes). Pour into a bowl over an ice bath and stir occasionally until cold. Whisk in remaining cream, then churn in an ice-cream machine. Layer ice-cream and pecans alternately into a container and freeze until firm (8 hours or overnight). Makes 1.2 litres.
- 3For spiced pears, stir sugar, rind, spices and 800ml water in a saucepan over medium heat to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer for flavours to develop (10 minutes), then add pears, cover with a round of baking paper, weight with a plate and poach until just tender (35-45 minutes). Remove from heat and cool in poaching liquid.
- 4Place pearl sugar in a large bowl, press dough into sugar to coat, then knead to incorporate. Divide dough into 6 pieces, roll into balls and set aside on a tray lined with baking paper until doubled in size (45 minutes to 1 hour).
- 5Brush a heated waffle-maker with oil. Flatten dough balls slightly into the waffle-maker and cook in batches until golden and cooked through (5-6 minutes). Serve hot with brown butter pecan ice-cream and spiced pears, drizzled generously with maple syrup and scattered with pecans.
Note Pearl sugar is available from select delicatessens and specialist baking shops.
Drink Suggestion: Pommeau (an aged blend of apple juice and apple brandy). Drink suggestion by Max Allen