This has to be one of my favorite spices. Cardamom is one of those flavors that you know it when you smell or taste it, and you either like it or you don’t. I happen to love it! Cardamom is hard to describe– but its intensely fragrant, slightly peppery and smokey top notes mixed in with a hint of resin and mint bottom notes gives it a taste unlike any other. Depending on if you’re using the Green, Black or White variety, it will impart completely different flavors and aromas to your dish. Now the world’s third most expensive spice by weight (just behind vanilla and saffron), cardamom is used across the globe, particularly in India (its birthplace), Guatemala (now largest producer) and Sri Lanka in savory curries, chutneys and stews. In the Nordic countries, this rare and exotic spice has primarily been used in traditional baked goods such as Scandinavian Christmas bread Julekake and Finnish sweet bread Pulla.
Although still very under-appreciated & under-used here in this country, you do begin to see more pastries and baked goods featuring cardamom as soon as autumn arrives. So I thought— why not do a mash-up of Belgium and Indian cultures with these Cardamom Belgian Waffles topped with a whipped cream that’s loaded with even more cardamom and a dash of freshly ground nutmeg. Warm, spicy and decadent– these waffles are designed for a Belgian waffle maker, but you can easily adapt them to a regular waffle maker by using less batter (just follow your machine’s instructions for correct batter amounts).
Cardamom Belgian Waffles with Spiced Whipped Cream
Revised October 6, 2017 | originally posted Oct 25, 2015 | yields 6-8 waffles | Recipe PDF
3 large eggs, separated
1- 3/4 cup milk
3-4 whole cardamom pods, slightly crushed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1- 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
3 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat Belgian-style waffle maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Spray both top and bottom grids of waffle maker with non-stick spray.
Start by separating egg yolks and whites into separate small bowls; set yolks aside and place whites in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, and continue whisking until whites have reached stiff peak stage; set aside. Melt butter in a small saucepan and set aside to cool slightly.
Next, in a medium saucepan, warm milk over medium heat with crushed cardamom pods. Allow milk to form small bubbles, but not boil. Remove from heat, cover, and allow cardamom pods to steep in milk for 15 minutes, or until milk is no longer hot. Strain out pods and stir in reserved egg yolks and vanilla extract; set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Add in ground cardamom and mix to combine. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture, blending just until incorporated (the batter will have small lumps; don’t over-mix). Stir in melted butter. Gently fold egg whites into batter in three stages.
Pour about 3/4 – 1 cup of batter onto the lower grid and follow manufacturer’s instructions for cooking waffles. Serve warm with spiced whipped cream, fresh fruit, breakfast syrup or jam.
Spiced Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2-3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
In a large mixing bowl, whisk cream, confectioner’s sugar, cardamom and nutmeg until medium peaks form. Serve with Cardamom Belgian Waffles.