Rommevafler Norwegian Sour Cream Waffles with Brunost and Cloudberry Cream

by Meeta Wolff

This chapter is a free excerpt from What's For Lunch, Honey?.



If I were to choose between pancakes and waffles, waffles would win by a slight margin. It’s the contrast of the crispy exterior and the soft interior that makes the waffle rank high on my list. Not to mention the relaxing effects of whisking up a thick, gloppy batter with carefully measured basic ingredients. Flour, milk and a few eggs, maybe I’ll add a flavoring or two...it gives me a moment to linger a little longer on my thoughts. I cradle the bowl in the nook of my arm and dip the whisk into the batter, swirling it into the right consistency. It’s the satisfying sound of the sizzle as the concoction hits the hot waffle plates that makes me impatient. While I wait, the aromas waft through the kitchen, encasing me in a perfume of sweet-smelling sugar and spice.

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If I were to choose between pancakes and waffles, waffles would win by a slight margin. It’s the contrast of the crispy exterior and the soft interior that makes the waffle rank high on my list. Not to mention the relaxing effects of whisking up a thick, gloppy batter with carefully measured basic ingredients. Flour, milk and a few eggs, maybe I’ll add a flavoring or two...it gives me a moment to linger a little longer on my thoughts. I cradle the bowl in the nook of my arm and dip the whisk into the batter, swirling it into the right consistency. It’s the satisfying sound of the sizzle as the concoction hits the hot waffle plates that makes me impatient. While I wait, the aromas waft through the kitchen, encasing me in a perfume of sweet-smelling sugar and spice.

Waffles have ancient roots: The first known creation of a waffle-related food has been traced back to ancient Greece, where people were cooking flat cakes prepared with cheese and herbs, called oublies, between metal plates as early as the 13th century BC. This method of cooking lasted throughout the Middle Ages until a craftsman had the idea of reproducing cookie plates to create the characteristic honeycomb pattern called gaufres, derived from the Old French wafla. Eventually, the waffle made its journey across the Atlantic in the form of the Dutch “wafel,” with the pilgrims on the Mayflower.

Since then, waffles have grown in popularity, with street vendors selling hot waffles slathered with molasses and syrup throughout the New World. August 24, 1869 marks the patent of the waffle iron by Cornelius Swarthout, and is even today National Waffle Day in the USA. International Waffle day, known as Våffeldag, has its origins in Sweden and is celebrated on March 25th, marking the turning point from winter to spring.

The waffle obsession seems to be particularly strong in Norway. On my trip to Norway last summer I was surprised to see just how popular they were. Waffles are available just about everywhere and I was told that the famous Vaffler are very much part of Norwegian tradition. Apparently, not a week goes by when waffles are not enjoyed in Norwegian homes—typically, served as an afternoon snack, often with shavings of Brunost cheese, slatherings of cream and a dollop of preserve. One will find several recipes for Norwegian Vaffler; my favorite are the utterly delicious Rømmevafler. Norwegian waffles are different from their American counterpart, as they are lighter, fluffier and richer and have a wonderfully crisp exterior with a soft and moist interior.

Sour cream adds a fantastic and distinct tangy flavor to these waffles, making them purely irresistible. Norwegians typically use a very thick sour cream with a high fat content (35%), in consistency similar to crème fraîche. For my Rømmevafler I used “schmand” which here in Germany is a magnificent thick sour cream very similar to Norwegian seterrømme. Good substitutes could be crème fraîche or even a mix of normal sour cream hung overnight with a few tablespoons of cream cheese. It will not be the perfect match, but you’ll come close!

In my version, I deviated from the traditional method of making Rømmevafler by adding grated Brunost cheese right into the batter. I drizzle a warm sticky caramel sauce over the waffles and make this a decadent treat. The dollop of cloudberry cream makes it tantalizing—cloudberries have a magnificent unique taste and preserves or jams made with this wild arctic berry are perfect with pancakes and waffles. If you are unable to find cloudberry preserve then use a lingonberry, cranberry or raspberry preserve instead.
Anonymous
Waffles are the best! :) I'm from Norway and my top three waffle toppings are: 1) Strawberry or raspberry jam + sour cream, 2) Brunost and 3) Butter (that melts on the hot waffle) + sugar.Enjoy your waffles :)

MARCH 16, 2011 10:49:00 PM GMT+01:00

Ingredients:

For the waffles
  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • 200ml milk
  • 200ml thick sour cream (25-30% fat content), Schmand or seterrømme
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 100g Brunost cheese, grated
  • Pinch of salt
For the caramel sauce
  • 250g muscavado sugar
  • 140ml cream
  • 50g butter
For the cloudberry cream
  • 2 tablespoons cloudberry preserve
  • 200ml thick sour cream (25-30% fat content), Schmand or seterrømme
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar

Method:

For the waffles
  1. Whisk together milk and sour cream into a smooth consistency.
  1. Add all the remaining ingredients and whisk the batter until thick and smooth.
  1. Heat the waffle iron and using a ladle pour about 1 to 1/12 ladlefulls of batter on the plates. Bake until the waffles are crispy outside but still moist and tender inside.
For the caramel sauce
  1. Add the sugar in a saucepan and stir in about 3-4 tablespoons of water. Place over medium heat and allow the sugar to dissolve.
  1. Increase the heat and bubble the mixture for 5 minutes until it turns into a caramel-colored thick syrup.
  1. Remove from heat and carefully pour in the cream and stir in the butter. Allow to cool. Fill into bottles and store in refrigerator.
For the cloudberry cream
  1. Whisk the ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Keep cool until required.
  1. To serve the waffles, gently re-heat the caramel. Drizzle over the waffles and add a dollop of the cloudberry cream on top.
  1. You can use a fork—but they taste even better if you simply tear off the segments with your hands and enjoy.
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