Poor Girl Gourmet blogger Amy McCoy writes and photographs today's guest post, with the exception of the above photo, which I shot in my kitchen after I prepared the recipe below.
Amy's book, Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare-Bones Budget, will be released this spring.
This is the second part of a two-part post. Read the first part here.
It turns out that you need your cast iron waffler to be very hot. Like smoking hot, in order to get a good waffle from a less-sturdy-than-bread-dough waffle candidate. My first attempt was merde. Very, very good smelling merde, but merde nonetheless. The waffle tore apart crosswise, leaving the cakey interior exposed, but, alas, no complete waffle to enjoy.
There was a glimmer of hope, though, in this first attempt — a small, untorn piece that did waffle. I returned to the stove (having allowed the waffle iron to cool completely, then scrubbing it with an old toothbrush to remove the stuck bits of cake), this time buttering the waffle iron generously, preheating both sides of the waffle iron on medium high heat, and then adding the batter.
It almost completely waffled. Only it seemed to have some doughnut envy, so it carved a hole out of its middle that peeled away from the main waffle. (Though there was also the issue of the hot spot on this particular burner that rendered part of the remaining donut-waffle blackened. A small setback, in the scheme of things. Surely I could eat slightly blackened waffles if only I could make a whole one.)
I became convinced that there was some operator error involved, so I moved on to batch Number Three. The plates were preheated, buttered generously, and batter poured onto plates. I cooked this batch at medium heat. This was a mistake. The cast iron waffler demands medium-high heat to actually cook the waffle (but not high heat, as that will cause the seasoning to peel off). More sweet, banana-cinnamon-scented merde.
I then moved on to batch Number Four, whereby I tried to answer the burning question, “Will brown sugar-banana cake muffin in a silicone brioche pan?” And the answer to that, my friends, is a resounding, “Yes. Yes, it will.”
However, given the relative complexities and the nuance of the cast iron waffler, I firmly believe that the cake will waffle in an electric non-stick waffler. I’ll be saving up for one of those better models myself (before I get the one with the coat of arms. In the meantime, I’ll be designing that coat of arms), for no matter how much I like rustic, there is much to be said for convenience. And waffling. Which I now spend much time considering. Oh, the crispy exterior. Oh, the chewy interior. Ah, the endless possibility.
Amy's right. These will waffle, though they're a bit difficult to get out of the waffle iron. My experience suggests that if you waffle them long enough to be easily removed, they're overcooked. Instead, remove while they're still soft and just beginning to turn golden. This will probably take six or seven minutes, though waffling time will vary significantly based on model and temperature.
Abandon all hope of removing the entire waffle at once; instead focus on removing sections one at a time.
Brown Sugar-Banana Cake (for waffles, cake, or muffins)
- 3 medium ripe bananas, sliced into 1/8-inch rounds [3mm]
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened [113 grams]
- 1 cup granulated sugar [200 grams]
- 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar [100 grams]
- 6 ounces cream cheese [170 grams], softened, and cut into approximately 1-ounce chunks
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour [187 grams]
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Place the banana rounds in a small mixing bowl, then sprinkle them with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, and give it all a stir to distribute the cinnamon-sugar evenly. Let the bananas stand for 30 minutes.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until they are well-blended, then add the cream cheese. Mix until the cream cheese has been completely incorporated into the sugar mixture, then add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until they are just blended into the batter. Pour in the vanilla and mix well to combine.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then pour the flour mixture into the butter and sugar mixture. Mix until the dry ingredients are completely blended into the wet ingredients.
4. Pour the bananas and any accumulated juices into the batter, and fold the bananas into the batter.
5. Preheat both sides of the waffle iron over medium high heat. While they are preheating, spread a pat of butter over each side to ensure that sticking, and the subsequent tearing, does not happen to you. You may use a silicone brush to do this, though if you make quick work of it, you can glide the melting butter around with a butter knife without damaging your hard-earned cast iron seasoning. Using approximately 1/3 cup batter per waffle (for a 6 1/2-inch waffle maker), transfer the batter to the preheated waffle iron, and, using a very heat resistant oven mitt (that’s another thing: the cast iron does not have a heat-proof, or touchable surface at all, so you must use a thick oven mitt or high-heat resistant silicone mitt to assemble it on the stove and to flip it), place the other plate over top and close the waffle iron. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, and use a knife to gently pry the waffle out if necessary.
You can keep your waffles warm until serving time by placing them on a baking sheet in a 200ºF oven, and, as is the case with all waffles, and quite a boon at that, they may be frozen for future use once they have cooled completely.