Moving, there’s no doubt, is an ugly business. Ever so slowly, the life that you carefully built is dismantled: book by book, dish by dish, sock by hole-in-the-toe sock. There’s a sadness to it all, as well as a deep feeling of anxiety. You don’t know how you’re going to manage everything, you don’t know why you keep trekking into San Francisco and sitting in an office all day, you start to think that crackers and hummus could be called dinner. You notice how expenses pile up–and quickly. When you call the water company in your soon-to-be state of residence, you’re informed that there’s a surprisingly large security deposit–one that, sure, won’t break the bank, but that seems rather high for something that is a basic human need. You also learn, much to your disappointment, that the Delmarva name you’ve been hearing so much of lately isn’t really a cute way of making Delaware seem marvelous (to my credit, the state’s motto is “small wonder,” so it was only too easy to make this logical leap); Delmarva instead refers to the state’s geographical location on the Delaware-Maryland-Virginia peninsula (in short, much less exciting). You also discover strange things about yourself as you call these various offices. For example, when you’re asked to spell your last name, you stumble on certain letters. My own undoing came with O and K; I don’t know what was wrong with my brain–they say that worry can lead to forgetfulness–but I was at such a loss that all that embarrassingly came to mind was “O for oxygen” and “K, uh, K as in…KitKat?” Fortunately, my lack of knowledge of the military spelling standard aside (Oscar and kilo), I am now a person with utilities.
Dark Chocolate Waffles
Adaped slightly from Bon Appetit
Yields about 12-16 waffles
The yield you get from this recipe will depend on your waffle maker, but suffice it to say that, unless you’re making this for a crowd, you’re going to have plenty of leftovers. The good news is that these waffles freeze beautifully.
I always keep spelt flour on hand and often like to substitute it for at least half of the all-purpose flour a recipe calls for (the ratio is 1:1; 1/4 cup of each is listed as 30 grams); with these waffles, however, I opted to use more all-purpose (200 grams all-purpose and 40 grams spelt; if not using a kitchen scale, I would suggest 1 3/4 cup all-purpose and 1/4 cup spelt) and I’m glad I did. The reason: all-purpose flour results in a crisper texture, which is what you want when making waffles (the olive oil the Mast Brothers call for also aids in the cause of crispness). I also opted to use turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw) instead of brown sugar, but you can use either. I cut back the amount of chocolate in the recipe to 5 oz. bittersweet chocolate (I used 60% instead of the recommended 70%) instead of 6 and for no other reason than that this was all I had left. It meant my waffles weren’t as dark and decadent looking as those of the Mast Brothers, but they still tasted of plenty of chocolate.
200 grams all-purpose flour (see above note if using volume measurements)
40 grams spelt flour (see above note if using volume measurements)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs, separated
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60%-70%), roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 250 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk flours, cocoa powder, turbinado sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Pour into the well and, using a fork, gradually incorporate the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
Using a mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Fold in half the egg whites into the batter, then add the other half and keep folding until fully incorporated. Fold in the chocolate.
Heat a waffle iron and, once hot, add batter to the waffle maker (about 1/2 cup batter per one batch) and cook until the outside of the waffles has become crisp and they are cooked through. Transfer the cooked waffles to the parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat until the batter is gone.
Serve the waffles with butter and maple syrup. If desired, add fresh berries or slices of a ripe banana.
Freeze or refrigerator any leftovers, wrapping them in wax paper and storing them in a freezer-proof ziplock bag.