Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Coconut Flour Waffles and Vegas Eggs!

   I have always been a sucker for brunch, especially brunch cooked by other people. Especially if you're cooking waffles. I love 'em. Warm up your waffle iron, send me a tweet or a text and I'll be there. Up until a week ago I didn't own a waffle iron. It was one of those appliances I was always going to buy and never did. Finally after several weeks of  geeking out at Epinions and other consumer websites, I did. I bought a Chefs' Choice Waffle Pro Belgian Waffle Maker. It's not the most expensive waffle maker out there, nor is it the cheapest. The price seemed to be just right for a virgin waffler like me.
   Another reason I was so eager to waffle was I'd been hearing about high protein, high fiber, gluten-free coconut flour waffles and thought, "Dang, I gotta try that!" So I sent off an email to the folks at Tropical Traditions who do wonders with all things organic and coconutty and they kindly sent me a bag of organic coconut flour to experiment with.
   I read everything the Tropical Traditions  people had to say about coconut flour and then began surfing the web, looking for viable coconut flour, waffle recipes. Boy howdy, there were a lot of them out there! I finally found one from The Good Eatah that looked promising. I had a further issue though. The original waffle recipe was made with agave nectar. I wanted to try making these waffles with stevia, and I wondered if that would be possible. After doing a little bit of math to figure out how much liquid stevia would equal 1/3 cup of agave nectar (1/2 tsp of liquid stevia) I gave it a whirl.
   I heated and seasoned my waffle iron and whipped up my batter. The one thing to keep in mind about the high fiber content of coconut flour is that it absolutely soaks up any liquids that are added to the batter. It is a very, very thirsty flour, therefore it uses more eggs (6) than other waffle batters.
 Another hint I learned is that when using any sweetener that is not sugar (like say... stevia) it really, really helps if baking powder is added to the batter so that things rise to a proper waffley height. So here's what I did, and what I learned.

Coconut Flour Waffles

Batter Up:
Mix together (use a hand mixer or other electric device to blend this as it can clump)
  4 Tbs of melted butter
  6 eggs
  Whip it all together.
 Add to that:
  1/2 tsp of liquid stevia
 1/2 tsp of salt
 1/2 tsp of baking powder
 And mix again.
Finally add in 1/3 cup of coconut flour.
 Beat it in so that it's well mixed. You'll wind up with a bright thick (lumpless) batter.
 Let it rest for about 5 minutes or so before you start making waffles with it.
 Meanwhile brush both plates of the waffle iron with vegetable oil or melted butter.   Then comes the test waffle.
   That's what they called it. This is supposed to be the embarassment that comes before the delicious crispy golden brown waffles. The ugly stepsister waffle.

Here's how to make it:
Pour about 1/2 cup of waffle batter in the center of the waffle iron, smoothing it out a bit.
 Since I bought a waffle iron with browning and crisping control, I set it on #4 (recommended) and waited for the little bell to go off.
   While all that was going on, I prepared my bacon. Oh yes, there was bacon. Did you think I was fooling around here? This was BRUNCH dammit! I'd made some home cured bacon but had forgotten to defrost it... "Duh, NOT winning!" So I had to buy some bacon. I chose Black Pig Bacon, which is made here in Sonoma County by Duskie Estes (Iron Chef Competitor) who I'd seen at the Sonoma Cheese Conference last year.
If you've gotta buy bacon, this is the bacon to get.
 Alan took care of the grill for the bacon, just as the bell on my new waffle iron went off. I know I was supposed to throw this test waffle out, but I couldn't resist. It looked so pretty. No ugly stepsister. This was a Cinderella Waffle.
I broke the rules. I ate it. I had to!  With my bare hands and totally naked... the waffle that is. One bite and I knew my decision to buy a waffle iron was the right one.
 I poured more batter. The game was afoot!

   Since I was making waffles, I had to make my Vegas Eggs. Why Vegas Eggs? Well, I'd read an article in the New Yorker a few years back that explained the highest paid casino chefs are the breakfast chefs, the guys that cook the eggs, because eggs are the toughest things to get right. When you're dealing with a guy who's just dropped his mortgage and kids' college fund at the tables and he's been comped a free breakfast, those damn eggs better be pretty damn fantastic... ergo the high salaries of the egg cooks.
   My own egg experience goes back many years to the summer after high school graduation. Even though I had a college scholarship, it didn't cover everything, books, clothes, food... you get the picture. I needed a job. I was hired at a local greasy spoon as a waitress. The first day on the job something happened. I never figured out what, and all of a sudden I was on the line as a fry cook. I learned to make perfect fluffy scrambled eggs.

Here are the important steps to that goal:
1. Bring your eggs to room temperature first.
2. For each egg you are beating, add in 1 Tbs of water. Never use milk, cream etc.  These will toughen your eggs as they cook. Water and only water is the ticket.
3. Do not add salt to the eggs before cooking them, this also will toughen them. There's plenty of room for salt after.
4. Whip the eggs well before cooking them. Once they're in the pan, Don't whip them, just gently fold them into layers.
5. Heat the pan well before you add butter or whatever you're greasing it with.
6. When the pan is really really hot, add the butter. When it melts, add the eggs.
7. Pour them in and raise the pan off the burner as you cook so things don't get too cooked through too fast.
8. As the eggs cook, gently fold the egg layers over each other. Never "scramble" them as they cook.
  They should turn out like this.
 I washed some blueberries to toss on top
 And brunch was served.
   Now, about those waffles, what's the real story? So what were these beauty contest winners really like taste-wise? They were good. I Iiked them. They crisped up nicely and rose up, even using stevia. But I know I can make them better.
   The key issue involves the moisture factor. How to get it into the waffles. I've done more research and found that many people add in unsweetened applesauce or  pureed pumpkin. We don't have issues at our house with gluten, but I am always interested in new products and the health benefits. Extra fiber and protein and other things I've read about coconut flour really peaked my interest in using it.
   The next time I make these waffles which will probably be this weekend, I'll be using a moisture filler. I also think this recipe would be just fine had I used maple syrup or melted butter and drizzled it over the waffles before serving. So bottom line, I liked the coconut flour, and I'm going to perfect these waffles. And if I have to eat waffles every weekend... well then so be it. No sacrifice is too great! Coming up next carrots and coconut milk sitting in a tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori


  1. I've never used coconut flour before, these waffles look good! I'll have to head to whole foods and get some flour, then a waffle iron :)

  2. I love brunch too! I'll def. have to try coconut flour!

  3. Oh! These waffles were worth the wait! Love the flavor and that bacon looks just scrumptious. This would be a perfect dinner for me.

  4. Belinda @zomppa,
    Black Pig is amazing bacon. If you can get some I highly recommend it.

  5. @wilde in the kitchen,
    I was sent some from Tropical Traditions, to test. they have a great online store

  6. I bought Presto Belgian waffle maker couple of months ago from CSNStores and I haven't tried anything with it yet.
    BTW, I went ahead and made those Crispy Cabbage Vadai -- 35 of them! When cutting the cabbage and onion i made a mistake and added 2 Tbsp water which made the batter slightly difficult to make donuts but somehow I ended with donut vadai(s).**phew**. They were a hit it seems. They were gone in under 10 mins. So Ty for sharing the recipe.
    These waffles and Vegas eggs look perfect!

  7. OMG... you have so many kitchen gagdets that I love...

  8. @penny aka jeroxie,
    haha! not nearly you know there's always more one can get!

  9. My dad had a restaurant when I was little, and the one thing that I learned from the head chef (who used to let me play in the kitchen) was to use water in the eggs, never milk, just like you said! I never knew why, but have always followed his advice. I have yet to venture into the coconut flour world, but keep hearing so much about it that I"m going to put it on my list!

  10. Glad you took the waffle-maker plunge- i can read about them through you as i'm still oscillating being as i already have a pizzelle iron and it's kind of duplicitous. the Vegas eggs are immensely interesting to me- apparently i've been doing it all wrong for years, being a big proponent of salt and cream. maybe that's why i prefer poached/sous vide eggs, but yours, yours i would try.

  11. Kathy these waffles look wonderful. I don't want to sound totally stupid but, ummmm....wth is stevia? LOL

  12. @saltyseattle,
    thanks so took me ages to decide on a waffle iron and that was because I was dithering over a pizzelle iron. Eggs have always fascinated me and I almost never eat scrambled eggs out because they;re almost never done right. I used to poach but have never done them sous vide. In fact I've never done anything sous vide which is why I always enjoy reading you..of course a sous vide machine is something that I'm dithering over right now

  13. @Alison,
    stevis is a sweet plant that is a natural sugar substitute. There are many brands, here's a general info chart

  14. I must admit, this is making me SO HUNGRY :)

  15. omg, your waffles look amazing!! coconut flour waffles...oh I need to try these babies!! new look..awesome, love it!


  16. @Emily Malloy,
    well, I can't wait to try it again this weekend using pureed pumpkin as coconut flour does have some "moisture issues"

  17. @sweetlife,
    they were very good, and I'm still working on perfecting them

  18. I love breakfast for dinner and I am sitting here alone because Dr. Food is in India. I know what I am having for dinner.

  19. Oh that looks so delicious!Thank you for sharing, your blog is wonderful. I'm a new follower from Italy! :)

  20. Gosh you've done a great job at the waffles!



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