I remember that as a kid I used to love waffles. In Poland you often find thick waffles, Belgian-style, and it’s those I knew as a kid. Topped with a generous portion of whipped cream and chocolate sauce: what’s not to love there? Then when I moved to Norway in my early twenties I got to appreciate a different type of waffle: thinner, flower-shaped, topped with Norwegian brown cheese and strawberry jam. There was a little booth that sold them by the lake next to my student house. And they were sold also at the café in the basement of the Mathematics building at the University. Having a waffle every Wednesday after our Norwegian language class had become routine for me and my classmates and I think that it was thanks to the waffle ritual that I actually bonded so much with some of them.
As soon as I came back from Norway I bought myself a waffle iron. I took home a few jars of Norwegian strawberry jam (Norwegian strawberry jam for some reason tasted better than the Italian one) and a block of brown cheese and got serious about waffle making. Without my classmates, though, they didn’t taste as special.
I returned to Norway a few months later and was offered waffles by a Norwegian friend. While preparing them, she let me in on a little family secret: instead of using milk, like I was doing to prepare my waffle batter, she used crème fraîche. Her waffles tasted much better, but that’s maybe because I was back in Norway and everything in Norway tastes always better to me. But when I returned home and tried her sour cream trick I finally managed to recreate that perfect waffle texture I had loved so much during my days at the University of Oslo. Even if I had run out of my supplies of strawberry jam and brunost, and I was again alone and not enjoying the company of my classmates, waffles at home finally tasted like they were meant to! So here is my favourite waffle recipe.
Basic waffle recipe (yields 5-6 waffles):
- 1 egg
- 1 cup sour cream
- 6 tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup water
- pinch of salt
Set waffle iron on high temperature. In a bowl, crack the egg and beat it lightly with a hand whisk. Then combine sour cream, flour (sifted, for easier mixing) and water. Lastly, add a pinch of salt. Whisk until mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Ideally, the batter is thick but runny enough to spread once the upper iron is pressed on top. Some recipes call for a bit of baking powder, but I find that the egg alone is more than enough to make those waffle rise nicely. Enjoy your waffles freshly baked – even in Sweden, I stick with strawberry jam. It’s just my favourite way of eating them.