First, I hope everyone is well and Super-Storm Sandy did not cause too much damage to you and your family. My sympathies to those who have been affected, including my own family and friends. While it's been a rough few days and lots of anxiety as everyone prepared, then suffered through the high winds, rains and water of Sandy, I am very grateful to have power and heat. How to pass away those hours with no TV and preparation in case of power outage? For me, it was cooking!
|Tree felled by Super-Storm Sandy in NJ park.|
Whole grains seem so difficult and time consuming to use, doesn't it? I used to think it was beyond my skill level but wished I could use more whole grains. When I discovered Kim Boyce's book Good to the Grain, I was fascinated by all the many whole grains out there and the delicious baked goods these whole grain flours can create. She wrote about flours from whole wheat, millet, quinoa, and so many other whole grains that I had never heard of! I'll write about some goodies I made from her book at a later date because I recently also found Maria Speck's Dark Chocolate Chili Waffles with Spelt Flour and just had to make that.
Maria Speck wrote Ancient Grains for Modern Meals. Another wonderful book - creative delicious recipes, all starring whole grains. She makes whole grains seem so much less intimidating for everyday dinners and desserts. She tells you how you can cook grains ahead of time and how to reheat without drying out the grains.
When I read her recipe for Dark Chocolate Chili waffles, I was intrigued. I get to use whole grains (spelt) and chocolate. Chocolate, to me, is essential to a good day. Chocolate with high cocoa content is high in flavonoids, which is good for you and I'll take any good news about chocolate. But most importantly, I love recipes that use chocolate for savory foods too. The internet is abound with recipes for chocolate desserts so it was nice to see Maria Speck's recipe for chocolate chili waffles. It has rich chocolate flavor, barely sweet (but can add more sugar for a sweeter waffle or milk chocolate) and a slight kick from the chili flakes. The little pep gives extra character to the waffle.
The full recipe can be found here: dark chocolate chili waffles with spelt flour and raspberry sauce/ but this is what I did following her recipe.
I used spelt flour and Hershey's Cocoa, Special Blend - a blend of natural and dutched cocoa. For the chocolate, I had Valhrona's 71% cocoa, which I got from Trader Joe's.
Above, I am stirring the wet ingredients with the dry. You see how it still has some lumps and that's just the way it should be. It should not be super smooth. That unusual looking thing I stirred with was a dough whisk, which you can find at King Arthur Flour. Maria Speck recommends this in her post too. I first read about this essential gadget at Chocolate and Zucchini. I later purchased it at King Arthur Flour and have been happily using it since. What is so special about it? Well, it whisks without getting the batter stuck in-between the wires in a wire whisk.
Here is one batch of my waffles. I love my waffle iron with the mini-waffles. Three mini-waffles equal one regular waffle. You may be wondering how does this waffle taste. This waffle is delicious! It's a keeper. You can also add extra chili if you like more spice to your waffles.
I served mine with a sprinkling of confectioner's sugar and the raspberry jam with chocolate that I made over the summer. It would be delicious with some freshly sliced apples and maple syrup too. This is especially gratifying and comforting on a stormy day.