WINTER WAFFLE SUNDAE WITH CRÈME FRAÎCHE ICE CREAM

We’re having quite the blustery, long-and-drawn-out winter here in the Northeast. Instead of letting it get the best of us, we’re snacking happy with this fun, flavorful take on a classic comfort food: waffles. Sure, breakfast waffles are a crowd-pleaser, but who doesn’t love those tasty little cakes for dessert, topped with an unbelievably creamy ice cream and liqueur-spiked chocolate sauce? Nobody, that’s who. And that’s why I created this recipe for a Winter Waffle Sundae with Crème Fraîche Ice Cream & Dark Chocolate Raspberry Sauce.

Poke around the web a bit and you’ll find that waffles evolved from a humble little hotcake that our Neolithic ancestors cooked on heated stones. Cooking techniques changed as tools and utensils were developed, but the real leap of ingenuity happened in the Middle Ages, when hinged iron cooking plates—something like a manual pizzelle iron—were forged with honeycomb or even religious symbols on the plates.

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By the sixteenth century, waffles were ubiquitous, and beloved by both the nobility and peasants alike (though it seems the peasant variety—made without milk, eggs, or honey—sounds a whole lot less tasty). A Dutch version of the waffles crossed the pond with the Pilgrims, but we have Thomas Jefferson to applaud for introducing the country to a specially made waffle iron, which he purchased on a trip to France in the late 1700s, and that creates the familiar crispy outside and tender inside. This kicked off a trend of make-your-own waffle parties, where guests could embellish their cakes with sweet toppings like maple syrup or molasses, or go the savory route with stews.

Electric waffle bakers started making their way into American kitchens in the 1930s. History has, sadly, not recorded the name of the genius who first decided to top his or her waffles with ice cream, but to that person, we say, “Huzzah!” And “Thank you!” And “No, really—you’re the best!”

So, even though International Waffle Day isn’t until March 25, I believe it’s never too early to start celebrating. This original waffle recipe features a few tweaks on the classic formula, including a gluten-free red velvet waffle made with the practically effortless KitchenAid® Waffle Baker; a rich crème fraiche ice cream whipped up in a KitchenAid® Stand Mixer with the Ice Cream Maker Attachment; and a heavenly sauce made of dark chocolate, raspberries, and cream, mixed to silky smoothness with a KitchenAid® 5-Speed Hand Blender. If you prefer an alcohol-free version of the sauce, simply substitute raspberry extract for the liqueur.

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First make the ice cream by combining the crème fraîche, cane sugar, salt, heavy cream, milk, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Use the KitchenAid® Hand Blender to combine.

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Transfer the blended mixture into the Ice Cream Maker Attachment and churn with a Stand Mixer for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the desired consistency. Set aside in the freezer.

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Make the sauce by placing the chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl; set aside.

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Combine the raspberry preserves and heavy cream in a high-powered blender or food processor until most of the seeds have been crushed, or use a spoon or spatula to press the raspberry preserves through a strainer to remove most of the seeds.

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In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the raspberries and cream, stirring constantly, until boiling. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Use the hand blender to combine the melting chocolate and raspberry-cream mixture. Once the sauce is combined, add the raspberry liqueur or extract. Set aside.

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Make the waffles by combining the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and sea salt in a bowl, and set aside.

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In a Stand Mixer, beat the eggs until combined. And the buttermilk, butter, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar, and mix well.

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Add the dry waffle ingredients to the liquid waffle ingredients and mix on low for 30 seconds, then medium for 1 to 2 minutes.

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When the batter is free of lumps, add a few drops of food coloring for a touch of red, or more for a darker red hue.

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Pour the mixture into the KitchenAid® Waffle Baker, covering the trays completely. Bake for 3 to 5 1/2 minutes, until crispy and golden on the outside and tender on the inside.

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Assemble the sundae by placing 2 or 3 small scoops of ice cream in the center of each waffle.

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Drizzle with the dark chocolate raspberry sauce.

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Top with a few fresh raspberries and a mint leaf, if desired. Add in some sophisticated table linens, and you’re ready to serve an unforgettable dessert.

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Winter Waffle Sundae with Crème Fraîche Ice Cream & Dark Chocolate Raspberry Sauce

Makes 3-4 servings

INGREDIENTS

For the ice cream

8 ounces crème fraîche
1/2 cup fine evaporated cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon natural vanilla extract

For the sauce

7 ounces dark chocolate (55% dark or more), chopped into pieces
6 tablespoons raspberry preserves
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon raspberry liqueur or extract

For the waffles

1 1/2 cups gluten-free oat flour
1/4 cup evaporated cane sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
4 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups light buttermilk
1/3 cup melted butter (cooled)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Red food colouring
Fresh raspberries, for garnish (optional)
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Make the ice cream by combining the crème fraîche, cane sugar, salt, heavy cream, milk, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Use a KitchenAid® 5-Speed Hand Blender to combine. Transfer the blended mixture into the KitchenAid® Ice Cream Maker Attachment and churn with a Stand Mixer for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the desired consistency. Set aside in the freezer.

Make the sauce by placing the chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl; set aside. Combine the raspberry preserves and heavy cream in a high-powered blender or food processor until most of the seeds have been crushed, or use a spoon or spatula to press the raspberry preserves through a strainer to remove most of the seeds.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the raspberries and cream, stirring constantly, until boiling. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Use the 5-Speed Hand Blender to combine the melting chocolate and raspberry-cream mixture. Once the sauce is combined, add the raspberry liqueur or extract. Set aside.

Make the waffles by combining the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and sea salt in a bowl, and set aside.

In a Stand Mixer, beat the eggs until combined. And the buttermilk, butter, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar, and mix well. Add the dry waffle ingredients to the liquid waffle ingredients and mix on low for 30 seconds, then medium for 1 to 2 minutes. When the batter is free of lumps, add a few drops of food coloring for a touch of red, or more for a darker red hue.

Pour the mixture into KitchenAid® Waffle Baker, covering the trays completely. Bake for 3 to 5 1/2 minutes, until crispy and golden on the outside and tender on the inside.

Assemble the sundae by placing 2 or 3 small scoops of ice cream in the center of each waffle. Drizzle with the dark chocolate raspberry sauce. Top with a few fresh raspberries and a mint leaf, if desired, and serve immediately.

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