Few cuisines around the world don’t include some form of waffle. This breakfast staple can be traced back to ancient Greece, and while these original waffles didn’t exactly come with maple syrup and whipped cream, the main concept – a cereal-based batter – was cooked, and toasted on both sides. In Medieval Europe, the Catholic church made waffles to serve in companion with the communion wafer; these waffles were drawn with biblical scenes, crosses and other religious symbols. When the church allowed these waffles, or oublies, to be made outside the church, the designs began to change, as did the tastes.
These days, waffles are made every which way: sweet and savoury; as a breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner; as a snack… these days, it’s always waffle time.
How to waffle
Indoors, outdoors, served as a dish or a snack, presented as party food or as finger food for a company meeting, a waffle option on your menu will always prove popular. Don’t be afraid to play with your waffles; try an eggless batter and make with almond flour for a vegan option, or experiment with keto and gluten free batters to give guests alternative options. For low carb and keto, “Chaffles” are a quick and easy cheese and egg option. Don’t be harnessed by tradition: make a kids’ party fun by using waffles as a base for pizza toppings.
Make an event of it
DIY waffle stations have become popular at functions, parties and events as a great way to make your event interactive and fun. Create a table for all your accompaniments: include plenty of savoury and sweet options to cater for all tastes, and have plenty of pots of textural items like crushed nuts and cereals.
Sweet baby waffles! The ever-popular sweet waffle comes with a host of opportunity. Classics like seared bananas, toasted nuts with warm chocolate sauce, seasonal berries and sticky honey, and compotes with cream will always make your customers happy. Try serving chocolate-dipped waffles with scoops of ice cream and fruit purees.
Sweet waffle batter can be tweaked with cinnamon, vanilla paste, cocoa or flavoured essences. To take your waffles to the next level, top your waffle with dusted matcha, freeze dried powders or icing sugar. Sweet waffles can be served at room temperature or heated in the oven or toaster.
Waffles with a twist
Less traditional but absolutely delicious, savoury ‘waffles with a twist’ incorporates vegetables like grated potato, pre-diced kūmara zucchini or beets, chopped fresh herbs, cheeses, spices and herbs into the batter.
For a half-and-half option, serve your waffles with crispy bacon or ham, with a little pot of honey.
Savoury recipe ideas
Vege waffles with gorgeous grilled garlic mushrooms made with button mushrooms from Meadow Mushrooms, baby spinach, beetroot relish and vegan aioli.
Bubble & squeak waffles with grated potato batter, grilled bacon, fried eggs and relish.
Mexican spiced waffles with smashed avocado, Parma, and tomato salad.
Classic waffles with slaw and crunchy karage style chicken with siracha and kewpie.
Cut waffles into sticks or batons and use for dipping into sauces or pop them onto ice-block sticks for fun ﬁnger food.
Small, mini or portioned sectioned waffles are a great way to incorporate them into finger food, morning tea or sweet treat sections of the menu.