They don’t call me the Dark Chocolate Alchemist for nothing. Okay, maybe I should rephrase that. I don’t call myself the Dark Chocolate Alchemist for nothing. I suppose it’s time to flex my metaphorical chocolate muscle for a breakfast of kings. There is no better breakfast than waffles. Their perfect ratio of surface area to volume provides an ideal crisp exterior with a moist center. Crown me.
I have chosen cocoa powder to be the chocolate of choice for the waffle. It is possible to utilize melted chocolate (I have even experimented with chocolate ganache) in this capacity, but I haven’t found the flavor difference dramatic enough to warrant the cost. Natural cocoa powder also has two advantages working in its favor. The first is that it has no added sugar. You get cocoa in its natural bitter form. This allows for sweetening based on taste. The second advantage is that it has a pH of about 5.5. This means that it is acidic enough to react with the basic baking soda to create a nice rise.
Many people that I talk to seem to harbor a misconception that cocoa powder is imitation chocolate. This is most likely because of its association with cheap hot chocolate mixes which shall not be named. But this could not be further from the truth. Cocoa powder is created by milling and grinding the cocoa bean (or nib) and then separating the cocoa butter from the cocoa solids (powder). Chocolate as we know it is created by combining cocoa solids with cocoa butter, milk (in milk chocolate), sugar, and other flavoring components.
The best way to “release” more flavor from cocoa powder is to mix it with a little hot water. This melts the cocoa butter inherent in the cocoa powder and aids in the dispersion of the cocoa solids. In addition, it breaks apart the starchy parts of the cocoa powder, which eliminates lumps.
To fulfill the chocolate quotient for this waffle recipe, I add chocolate chunks to the finished waffle for a little oomph.
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup of chocolate chips
3 tbs Natural cocoa powder
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Butter, and syrup, for serving
- In a microwave safe bowl, add 1/2 cup of milk and cocoa powder. Microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until the cocoa powder is completely incorporated into the milk. Allow to cool on counter.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar (to prevent starch clumping), baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well.
- Combine the wet ingredients: In this order, beat the egg then mix in the vegetable oil, vanilla, cocoa powder mixture, and the rest of the milk.
- Stir the chocolate chips into the dry ingredients.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.
- Preheat a waffle iron. Do not use non-stick spray on the waffle iron; the oil in the batter will allow the waffle to release easily. Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles. Serve immediately with chocolate chips, butter and syrup.