Do you want to make your sweetie feel special next Thursday? Well, if s/he is a chocolate lover, I am going to proceed on my theme from yesterday. I wrote about making strawberry waffles as a special red-themed breakfast item. Now we are going to kick that innocent-looking waffle up a notch. Hold onto your hat--this is getting dangerous.
What I have in mind is chocolate waffles. Of course it's a good idea, but don't try to take a waffle recipe and chocolate it up--that won't do. No, there is only one way to do this, and it is Brownie Waffles.
Breathe deeply. You put together a brownie batter and then make it up as waffles, using your waffle iron instead of a baking pan and oven. Trust me, it will work and be so good that the lucky person who is on the receiving end of this food of love will never get over it.
I mean, this is something that, years later, your valentine will still be asking you if you remember the time you made the chocolate waffles. She or he may not be into cooking enough to realize that it was brownie dough, but it doesn't matter if you achieved your objective of making this person feel loved and cared-for. Chocolate can do that, as we all know.
When I bought my Kitchen Aid stand mixer at Costco in Tucson several years ago, the company included a little cookbook that provides experience working with the mixer. However, I never underestimated the recipes themselves--they are seriously good. So if you make their brownie recipe and then bake it with your waffle iron you can't go wrong.
2 sticks unsalted organic butter, at room temperature
4 ounces (1-ounce squares) unsweetened organic chocolate
2 cups organic light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
3 large organic eggs, at room temperature
1 cup organic all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Turn on your waffle iron so that it will be hot when you are ready.
Using a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, melt half the butter and all the chocolate. Allow them to cool while you get the rest of the recipe going.
Place the remaining butter, sugar and vanilla in the mixing bowl of your electric mixer and mix them thoroughly, at least 3 minutes at medium speed.
Beat in the eggs one at a time until each is thoroughly incorporated. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and mix again thoroughly.
Add all remaining ingredients at low speed. Make as many waffles as your recipe will produce and cool them to lukewarm. Be careful with the setting of your waffle iron, if it is adjustable, remembering that chocolate burns easily. You can store the brownie waffles in a freezer in an airtight plastic bag.
When you are ready to serve the brownies, let your imagination run wild. You can top them with ice cream or whipped cream/topping, and add chocolate sauce, caramel sauce or even fruit if you like the combination of fruit and chocolate. Serve this after a light, healthy dinner with the best coffee you can come up with, and your valentine doesn't have a chance.
As always, go for broke with the chocolate, getting the best your can find. I buy chocolate at Sprouts in Tucson because of the quality and variety of their stock.
Don't forget to make a beautiful table as well, perhaps with a red theme and passionately-red roses to provide the touch of the master's hand. My theme is that I have a white tablecloth with a "burn out" design, and I place a plain red tablecloth under it so that the color shows through and throws the white cutout design into contrast. With it I use a very inexpensive (but expensive-looking) table service of silver-rimmed dishes, and European cut-glass goblets that have a red surface pierced by the glass artists. They are quite elaborate. On the table I would place pink or white roses because the tablecloth cuts the pure red of the tablecloth down to a pink color.
By the way, before you go flower shopping, set your table and take a good look at it, or even a quick phone photo, so that you can get an exact match with your table flowers.