This simple, batter-based waffle could be the vehicle for all manner of flavour combinations. While we've opted for a wintry combination of roast rhubarb and thick hazelnut custard, they'd work equally well with yoghurt and summer berries or simply a big scoop of ice-cream and a dollop of warm salted caramel sauce. These waffles are best made and served fresh.
- 400 gm rhubarb (about 1½ bunches), cut into rough 7cm lengths
- 330 gm raw caster sugar
- Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- Thinly peeled rind and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
- 125 ml dessert wine
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 170 gm hazelnuts, plus extra, chopped, to serve
- 400 ml milk
- 300 ml pouring cream
- Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 7 egg yolks
- 165 gm (3/4 cup) raw caster sugar
- 25 gm each plain flour and cornflour
- 300 gm crème fraiche
- 300 gm (2 cups) plain flour
- 200 gm brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 300 ml milk
- 125 ml (½ cup) buttermilk, well shaken
- 125 gm butter, melted and cooled
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1For hazelnut custard, preheat oven to 180C. Spread hazelnuts on an oven tray and roast, stirring occasionally, until golden (4-5 minutes). Cool slightly, then rub off skins with a tea towel. Transfer to a saucepan, add milk, cream and vanilla, bring to the simmer over medium heat and set aside to infuse (30 minutes). Transfer to a food processor, pulse until coarsely chopped, strain through a muslin-lined sieve into a jug, pressing firmly on solids to extract all liquid, then return to a clean pan and bring back to the simmer. Whisk yolks, sugar, flour and cornflour in a bowl to combine, then pour milk mixture over, whisking continuously. Return to pan, whisk continuously until boiling, then continue to whisk until thick (3-4 minutes). Transfer to a bowl, cover closely with plastic wrap, to prevent a skin forming, and refrigerate until thick and cooled (1½-2 hours). Custard will keep refrigerated for 2 days. Just before serving, transfer custard to an electric mixer, add crème fraîche and whisk until smooth and thick (3-4 minutes).
- 2Preheat oven to 200C. Combine rhubarb in a roasting pan with sugar and vanilla seeds and stir to coat well. Spread evenly in pan, add rinds, juices, wine and cinnamon and roast until tender and syrupy (20-25 minutes). Keep warm.
- 3For brown-sugar waffles, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and a pinch of sea salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Whisk the milk, buttermilk, melted butter and egg yolks to combine, pour into the well and whisk until smooth. Whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form, then fold into batter. Preheat a waffle iron to the manufacturer's instructions, then cook batter, in batches, until browned and crisp (3-4 minutes). Serve warm topped with roast rhubarb, a spoonful of hazelnut custard and chopped hazelnuts.
Drink Suggestion: Botrytis riesling. Drink suggestion by Max Allen