Waffles

Våfflor

Swedish egg waffles with lightly whipped cream and strawberry jam
Egg waffles with jam and whipped cream

Våfflor (waffles) are extremely popular in Sweden. Indeed, Swedes have been eating våfflor since at least the early 1600s! Originally Swedish waffles were square, but now they are usually made into heart shapes and served with jam or fruit and whipped cream or ice cream. Unlike Belgium waffles, Swedish waffles are made without yeast and so they are thinner and have a texture which is more like pancakes.

Crispy waffles with fresh fruit and whipped cream
Crispy waffles with fresh fruit and whipped cream in the spring sunshine

Waffles are eaten all the year round but they are particularly popular on March 25th, Våffeldagen (Waffle Day). Apparently the reason it started was because in Swedish the Christian feast day, Vårfrudagen (Our Lady Day), sounds a bit like Våffeldagen and so Swedes decided to celebrate Vårfrudagen by cooking waffles. (Our Lady Day, also called Annunciation Day, is exactly 9 months before Christmas Day and is the day when the angel Gabriel pronounced the conception, or incarnation, of Jesus in the Virgin May.)

In earlier times most Swedes were very poor, living off the land and coping with a very harsh climate. In those days våffeldagen was an important day in the calendar because it also marked the start of the crop growing season and the increased availability of eggs and milk. As eggs symbolised the start of spring, it became popular to use them to make våfflor to celebrate. To most poor farm works in Sweden våfflor with jam and whipped cream constituted real luxury, so it was no wonder that they were so popular. For more information about the history of våfflor and våffeldagen in Sweden click here.

There are two popular types of waffle: äggvåfflor (egg waffles) and frasvåfflor (crispy waffles). I prefer äggvåfflor because they are bit more filling and I normally serve them as a main course, either for breakfast or lunch. However, a lot of people prefer frasvåfflor because they are crispier and lighter. Recipes for both types are given below. John Duxbury

Summary

Recipe summary for Swedish waffles

Tips

A Swedish waffle iron

• Use a Swedish waffle iron if possible to get characteristic thin heart shapes. (UK readers can buy a Swedish waffle iron online from Clas Ohlson.)
• You can use the recipe below with a Belgium waffle iron, but it is better if you add a teaspoon of "instant" dried yeast with the dry ingredients (step 2 for egg waffles and step 3 for crispy waffles).
• In the case of the egg waffles, the mixture improves if it is rested for at least 30 minutes in a fridge before it is used. (For brealfast waffles the mixture can be rested in a fridge overnight.)

Ingredients for egg waffles

90 g (3 oz) butter
200 g (1½ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
75 g (⅓ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
¾ tsp   baking powder
¾ tsp   vanilla sugar
300 ml (1¼ cups) milk
1   egg, lightly beaten

Method for egg waffles

1. Melt the butter in a microwave or a saucepan, but don’t let it brown. Leave it to cool slightly.

2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.

3. Gradually whisk in the milk and the melted butter.

4. Whisk in the beaten egg to form a smooth batter.

5. Leave the batter in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight before frying.

6. Preheat your waffle iron. (Usually there is a pilot light which will go out when the waffle iron is up to temperature.)

7. Pour about 4-6 tablespoons of batter on the middle of the lower plate and close the lid. Press the lid for a few seconds so that the batter is spread evenly. (Do not press during the whole process as this will prevent the waffle from rising.)

8. Fry for about 1-2 minutes until the waffle is golden brown.

9. Serve the waffle while still hot.

Ingredients for crispy waffles

30 g (2 tbsp) butter
240 ml (1 cup) whipping cream
125 g (1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
¾ tsp   baking powder
pinch   salt
150 ml (10 tsbp) cold sparkling mineral water

Method for crispy waffles

1. Melt the butter in a microwave or a saucepan, but don't let it brown. Leave it to cool slightly.

2. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.

3. Fold in the flour, baking powder and salt.

4. Add the cold sparkling water and then finally the melted butter. Mix to produce an even batter.

5. Preheat your waffle iron. (Usually there is a pilot light which will go out when the waffle iron is up to temperature.)

6. Pour about 4-6 tablespoons of batter on the middle of the lower plate and close the lid. Press the lid for a few seconds so that the batter is spread evenly. (Do not press during the whole process as this will prevent the waffle from rising.)

7. Fry for about 1-2 minutes until the waffle is golden brown.

8. Serve the waffle while still hot.

Serving suggestions

Egg waffles with cloudberry jam

1. Jam and lightly whipped cream or ice cream is the most popular way of serving waffles. (The photo above shows egg waffles with cloudberry jam.)

Crispy waffles with fresh fruit and lightly whipped cream

3. Waffles are also nice with fresh fruit and cream. (If the fruit needs some sugar, use demerara sugar with crispy waffles.)

Blueberries heat with some sugar

4. Waffles go really well with a blueberry or bilberry compote: rinse 150 g (5 oz) of berries (fresh or frozen) and add to a saucepan along with two tablespoons of caster (superfine) sugar. Simmer gently until the juice runs and they are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Leave to cool. Pour on top of the waffles, dust with ground cinnamon and add some lightly whipped cream or ice cream.

5. For a spicer blueberry compote: mix 200 g (7 oz) blueberries, 1 tablespoon of caster (superfine) sugar, 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, a pinch of ground cinnamon and a pinch of ground cloves. Poach for about 5 minutes until soft and gooey and then increase the heat and boil for 4 minutes to thicken. Serve warm or cold with waffles and whipped cream or ice cream.

Crispy waffles with blueberries and whipped cream

6. For a slightly more luxurious topping make some blåbärskräm (bilberry/blueberry cream): lightly whip 300 ml (1¼ cups) of whipping cream and mix with 2 tablespoons of icing sugar (powder sugar), ½ teaspoon of vanilla powder and 150 g (5 oz) of lightly cooked blueberries or bilberries. If you use blueberries sprinkle over some ground cinnamon when you serve the waffles. (For a more filling version, replace half of the whipped cream with mascarpone cheese.)

Downloads

  printer version.pdf

  phone & tablet version.pdf

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