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Dec 22, 2014

The Schattenreich Recipes: Sebastian's Kitchen

Belgian Waffles

The title should be in blinking red lights and have a diet warning siren blaring out at all times. It should scare away the Paleos and the rest of the low-carb sufferers, the vegans, the low-fat dieters. All of you should run away, run away fast. The 5:2 dieters (if it's not a fast day) and the rest of you - still with me?

A belly full of whipped cream demands a nap
Sebastian von der Lahn prepares Belgian waffles for Caitie in Shadow Zone, Book 4 of the Schattenreich. They serve to help her ground herself again in the waking world after she returns from her journey in the Dreams. Food are two good ways to accomplish this. I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to decide which method was the most successful.

I've reproduced Sebastian's recipe for you here. It was taste-tested by the entire family, including one contented four-legged friend. 

 First of all, I have to admit, I've never ever ever been able to make decent waffles. I've tried the recipe that came with my waffle iron and others in cookbooks, but they always ended up being either hard enough to pave my patio or simply lacking in taste. 

A while back, my son made waffles for me (counts as a minor miracle in itself), and they were delicious. So what was his secret?

"Google has the best recipes, Mom."

Okay. Fine. So that's what I did. I found this recipe, and it looked promising.

Do not fear egg whites.
Two eggs makes this much.
Run over there and get the recipe and then come back. I'll wait. 

The thing to note about this recipe (besides a lack of conversions, which I've roughly calculated at the bottom of this post***), is that you have to separate the egg yolks and whites from each other. Then whip the egg whites until they are stiff. Because of the amount of air incorporated into the egg whites at this point, it's almost guaranteed that the waffles will be lighter. Since only two eggs are necessary for the recipe, I found it easier to whip them in this small container rather than a big bowl.

Another tip for the expatriate Americans (or anyone else who lives in Germany), vanilla extract here is not the same as it is in the states. So, instead of an inferior extract (I usually bring bottles back with me, but I've run out), I used a package of vanilla sugar (vanille Zucker) and added it to the dry ingredients.

I did end up using less butter than the recipe called for (around 3/4 of a cup) and didn't notice any lack of buttery flavor. Other than that, I followed the recipe as it's stated and baked them on a setting of between 4 and 5. Because there's so much butter in the waffles, I found I didn't need to butter my (non-stick) waffle iron.

The recipe yielded exactly ten waffles.

Not perfect to look at, but perfectly edible
Now onto the toppings.

I whipped heavy cream (with another package of vanilla sugar). 

In addition, in keeping with Sebastian's results, I made a strawberry sauce. Since fresh strawberries are ridiculously expensive this time of year, I used frozen ones (about a cup and a half), cooked in a small saucepan with a little bit of water, a couple of tablespoons of sugar and a tablespoon of maple syrup (and a splash).

Cook over low heat until the strawberries fall apart. You can do this while the waffles are baking. I chopped up a couple of basil leaves (yes, that's right, fresh basil) and added them to the sauce after it cooked down. You could also add chopped mint (strawberry mint would be wonderful). 

 Mash or blend with an immersion mixer to desired consistency (I left mine just a little bit chunky). Taste and adjust the sweetness as desired, as not all strawberries pack the same sweetness, even the frozen ones.

Spoon a little strawberry sauce over the waffles. Add a splash of maple syrup if desired, and top with whipped cream. I added a fresh raspberry on top for artistry. And voila! 
A little bit of heaven on earth
 My fazit; these were the best, most delicious, lightest, homemade waffles I've ever made (or eaten). Ever. And the most calorie intense. Ever. We made them our midday meal - I managed to eat two, but regretted it (a little). They are a special meal, to be savored at this time of year and possibly again when fresh strawberries are in season.

They lasted for three days (kept in the refrigerator), and there's not a crumb left.

So if you try this recipe, I'd love to hear your feedback.


The recipe doesn't have conversions for liters/grams. According to my kitchen scale, a cup of flour is approximately 160 g. A cup of sugar, around 250 g. Alternatively, use a 250 ml measuring cup as a standard for the cups of dry ingredients, and you should be just fine. A cup of milk or butter is 250 ml. I used medium organic eggs.