In her cookbook, Dark Rye and Honey Cake, acclaimed food writer and historian Regula Ysewijn shares recipes and culinary history from her Belgian homeland. This Sweet Potato Waffles recipe from her cookbook is one of our favorites that we are baking on repeat!
By Regula Ysewijn
These waffles are the best savory waffles you will ever make – in my humble opinion, anyway. The spices provide a subtle flavor in the background, they aren’t meant to be pronounced, just to support.
I serve them with our traditional platte kaas (quark or fromage blanc), which is also used in the cheesecakes of Wallonia or smeared onto bread, topped with radishes and served with Gueuze beer.
Ingredients (makes 10 medium waffles)
400 g (14 oz) sweet potato
50 g (1¾ oz) unsalted butter
100 g (3½ oz) cheese, such as semi-mature gouda, cheddar or red Leicester
100 g (3½ oz) strong (bread) flour
100 g (3½ oz) plain flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 eggs, separated
50 ml (1¾ fl oz) full-fat milk
*Platte kaas (fromage blanc, quark) or sour cream or skyr (a fresh sour milk cheese)
Cracked black pepper
*You can substitute with creme fraiche or sour cream
To make the sweet potato
There are two ways to go about cooking the sweet potato: if you are feeling organized you can put the whole unpeeled potatoes into the oven along with your evening meal and bake them until soft (this is the way that will yield the most flavorsome result and it’s so easy you will definitely remember to pop in a sweet potato or two next time). The oven temperature isn’t important as long as you don’t go over 200°C (400°F) – just squeeze the potato after 30 minutes to see if it is soft; the skin will be wrinkly if it’s ready. You can keep the cooked potato in the fridge for up to 3 days after cooking.
The second way is to cook the sweet potato on the day you’re making the waffles. If you can find small ones, cook them whole as it will improve the flavor, but if they’re large cut them into cubes and keep an eye on them so they don’t fall apart. Depending on the size of the potatoes, cooking them will take about 20 minutes.
Scoop the flesh out of the potato peel or toss the cubes into a food processor and blend to a purée, then let it cool.
To make the waffles
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat so it doesn’t bubble, then let it cool. Grate the cheese.
- Put both the flours, baking powder, salt, spices and herbs into a large bowl and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the sweet potato purée and the melted butter together until well incorporated. Add the egg yolks and milk, then add this mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until combined, then whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold them into the batter with the grated cheese.
- Heat a plain waffle iron. Place a dollop of batter on the iron and bake each waffle for 3 minutes or until golden.
- Chop some parsley and add it to the cheese or sour cream. Add the pepper, as much as you like, and stir to combine.
- Serve the waffles with the cheese mixture, scattered with the dainty leaves of chervil, which will give a delicate flavor. Other delicate salad leaves will work too. Enjoy
- Freeze leftovers or keep in an airtight container. The next day, or after thawing, simply heat up in a hot waffle iron or a toaster.