Let's all start Valentine's Day with this lovely breakfast idea from The Scandi Kitchen by Bronte Aurell. Because after all, February 14th falls on a Sunday this year so there is no excuse.
These heart-shaped waffles are eaten all over the Nordic countries. We use a special heart-shaped waffle iron, giving the waffles their distinct shape, which you can get online, but it’s also possible to make using a non-stick griddle pan.
350 ml whole milk
100 ml Greek yogurt
350 g plain flour
100 g caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar (or use seeds from 1⁄2 pod)
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
100 g butter, melted, plus 50 g, for brushing
Vanilla skyr/quark and tart berries topping:
300 ml skyr (Icelandic cultured dairy product) or natural quark
1⁄2 vanilla pod, seeds only
2 tablespoons icing sugar
200 g mixed fresh berries
Strawberry jam and vanilla cream topping:
300 ml whipping cream
1⁄2 vanilla pod, seeds only
1 teaspoon icing sugar
In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk and yogurt. Add all the dry ingredients and finally, add the melted butter. Whisk until you have a smooth batter, taking care not to over-beat. Leave to stand for at least 15 minutes before using.
Heat up the waffle iron and brush it lightly with melted butter. Add enough batter to the waffle iron to almost cover the surface (but not quite, or it will overspill), close the lid and cook until golden brown. This will take a couple of minutes. Repeat until all the batter is used. Note that as when making pancakes, the first one of the batch is never as good as the rest! Eat them immediately or they’ll go soggy.
For the vanilla skyr/quark and tart berries topping, whip the skyr or quark for 1 minute with the vanilla seeds and sugar. Serve a dollop with each waffle and then sprinkle the berries on top. Note that skyr and quark are naturally sour in taste and you may want to add extra sugar to taste.
For the strawberry jam and vanilla cream topping, add the cold whipping cream to a bowl. Add the seeds from the vanilla pod and icing sugar. Whip until peaks form. Serve the cream and jam in bowls next to the waffles and let your guests help themselves (usually a tablespoon of jam per waffle is sufficient). During strawberry season, we omit the jam and serve it with freshly macerated strawberries instead. Other times, we replace the strawberry jam with cloudberry jam – a much tarter jam that perfectly complements the sweet vanilla cream.
The traditional Norwegian waffle topping is brown goat’s cheese (brunost or geitost), which is available in speciality stores across the world. The distinctive brown colour comes from the milk sugars which are boiled (along with cream and whey), turning them into caramel. To serve, thinly slice slivers of the brown cheese and add to your waffle as soon as it comes out of the waffle iron, so that it melts slightly before eating.
The Scandi Kitchen by Bronte Aurell
Published by Ryland Peter & Small
Photography by Peter Cassidy