I think cardamom is a sexy spice. The word even rolls off your tongue in a sexy way...despite having the word "mom" in it. This sweet, slightly botanical spice is highlighted in these simple waffles, with only a hint of vanilla to play up the intensely aromatic flavor of the cardamom.
This is a perfect breakfast to celebrate Valentine's Day. It is light, but indulgent; familiar, yet exotic. Since there is just one main flavor note, I like to make it count with freshly ground cardamom. I've become so smitten with this spice that grinding it in my mortar is an absolute pleasure. I like to leave the mortar on the counter instead of washing it right away so I can walk by and smell the scent of cardamom. I may as well just dive into the hyperbole pool here and call it...intoxicating.
This recipe came from the February issue of Gourmet. I wanted to make it as soon as I saw it, but there are only so many opportunities for sweet weekend breakfasts, and things can fall by the wayside. Then I realized that these waffles would be perfect with the rose petal jam I recently bought at Whole Foods Market. I tasted rose petal jam a long time ago when I went to Nice, France. We went to the factory where the jam was made, and I fell in love with the experience of eating something so fragrant you could swear you were simply putting a rose in your mouth. I brought a couple jars home, but I never found the jam again after that.
Doing my Christmas shopping this year, I discovered Zingerman's, the Ann Arbor deli and gourmet food store that carries some truly unique products. They had rose petal preserves, but sold out of it before I could order any for myself. When I saw it at Whole Foods I was thrilled and immediately tried to think of something I could bake to eat it with.
The rose preserves and the cardamom waffles were gorgeous together. I'm a maple syrup girl all the way, but I couldn't stop talking about how much I loved the spiced waffles simply dusted with powdered sugar and a dribble of jam. Gourmet recommended lingonberry preserves and Mike ate his waffles with strawberry (I generously offered him rose jam, but he found it to be a bit of an acquired taste). Any dark fruit preserve (you know, not apricot or peach) will be delicious. The rose preserves I bought are actually available through the company right here...cool!
I figure if you're planning a Valentine's breakfast, you'll be holding out for the weekend when you can relax and enjoy something fabulous. I was so in love with these waffles that it didn't occur to me that they would also be wonderful with champagne...so you can take that under advisement.
Have a sweet Valentine's Day!
Cardamom Sour Cream Waffles
Adapted from this recipe from Gourmet magazine
You can use all AP flour if you want. If you're using regular table salt instead of coarse salt, reduce quantity to a generous 1/4 teaspoon.
Makes 8 waffles
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground green cardamom (from about 12 pods)
2 large eggs
1 cup lowfat milk
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Preserves and powdered sugar for serving
Preheat a waffle iron.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs slightly, then whisk in the milk, sour cream, vanilla, honey and butter. Whisk into the flour mixture until just combined.
Coat the waffle iron with oil or nonstick cooking spray and cook waffles according to manufacturer's directions. Sift powdered sugar over waffles and top with preserves.