Cardamom Belgian Waffles with Spiced Whipped Cream

This has to be one of my favorite spices.
cardamom belgian waffles with spiced whipped cream |

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.
green cardamom pods |
ground green cardamom & pods |

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).
cardamon belgian waffles |
cardamom belgian waffles with spiced whipped cream |

Cardamom Belgian Waffles with Spiced Whipped Cream
Revised Jan 21, 2017 | originally posted Oct 25, 2015 | yields 6 waffles | Recipe PDF

3 large egg whites
2 tablespoons Confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1- 3/4 cup milk
3-4 whole cardamom pods, slightly crushed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1- 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
3 teaspoons ground cardamom

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.

cardamom belgian waffles with spiced whipped cream |


Roasted Fruit with Spiced Dal

DSC_0022-1If you’re looking for a warm, comforting bowl of healthy goodness on these cold winter days, look no further. This easy-to-make Roasted Fruit with Spiced Dal is not only a super protein-packed way to start the morning (or end a day) but it’s also gluten-free, has no added sugar, and can be adapted to your favorite seasonal fruits.
This idea of fruit with dal sprang from necessity back in October. Yes, it’s a bit of a strange combo, but I had just started a new healthier eating plan. For the first month I was supposed to avoid all carbs. Yep, you heard me. No fun right? So I was bummed to say the least when my go-to breakfast of oatmeal and fruit became verboten. Who can find fault with a hearty bowl of oatmeal and all the fixin’s? Well, perhaps it’s the “fixin’s” that may have become a wee bit excessive and got me into trouble! At any rate, I was going to be good and stick to the “plan”, so I needed to find a tasty substitute that would come close to my oatmeal bowl–just with more protein and less sugar. And since any and all kinds of legumes were A-OK on the Doc’s list, thought I’d start there.

DSC_0084-1  [Masoor Dal (lentil)]
Ultimately, I decided on Masoor Dal as my “oatmeal” base because if you slightly overcook the dal (I mean just a tad, nothing crazy here), it will fluff up and give you a texture similar to that of oats.  I liked its bright orange color too and thought it would work well with the autumnal spices and fruits. Dal or lentils are an edible pulse, which is part of the legume family. These tiny seeds pack a mighty punch with about 30% of their calories from protein. They have the third-highest level of protein, by weight, of any legume or nut, after soybeans and hemp. The neutral flavor of the seed allows whatever spices or seasonings you’re using to come through in the dish. To make it work with the baking spices and fruit, I opted to go with the aromatic notes of India: Cardamom, Star Anise and Cinnamon. This trio is a perfect way to infuse flavor into an otherwise bland pulse.
DSC_0050-1 DSC_0133-1DSC_0169-1
Next the roasted fruit. This is so simple. I make a sheet tray at a time and then I can re-warm it throughout the week with the dal, or just on its own for a snack. I always like to include apples as they are so good for you plus they hold up well when roasting. My preference is Granny Smith as I like the tartness paired with the baking spices— we’ll get to those next.
I usually add one Honey Crisp or Braeburn too. The only variety I would avoid is Red and Yellow Delicious. They are softer-fleshed varieties and will get too mushy when roasting. Here I used Red Barletts but you can use any pear (just be sure it’s firm, not overripe). Try Asian Pear or Fuyu Persimmons too. In the summer, try a mix of nectarines, peaches, apricots and plums. The combinations are endless. For some texture and slight sweetness, I added these little nuggets: dried cranberries and my new favorite baking condiment: crystallized ginger chips from The Ginger People. You’ve seen me use these before, love these tiny morsels!
DSC_0101-1 DSC_0132-1
DSC_0073-1 DSC_0078-1
Then before roasting, I finished it off with small pieces of chilled butter and an assortment of baking spices such as ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and pumpkin pie spice. But use whatever spices you like, make it your own.
DSC_0154-1Spiced Dal
1 cup masoor dal (orange lentils)
2 cardamom pods, slightly crushed to release inner seeds
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of fine sea salt

Rinse and drain dal well. Add to medium sauce pan. Fill with enough water to cover the dal by about 2 inches. Add in cardamom pods, star anise, cinnamon stick and salt. Bring to a low boil over med-high heat and cook covered for 8-10 minutes. (Lentils cook fast so keep an eye on them so they don’t overcook). Cool and serve with Roasted Fruit or on its own with brown sugar or honey.

Roasted Fruits
2 green apples (granny smith)
2 pears ( red bartlett, bosch, or d’anjou)
1 red apple (honey crisp, braeburn or pink lady)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup crystallized ginger chips
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 stick unsalted butter, chilled and diced

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a standard sheet pan with foil. Cut fruit into medium-size chunks and spread out on sheet pan in an even layer. Add cranberries and ginger chips and toss gently to distribute evenly. Gently mix in all spices. Top with butter pieces. Bake at 375F for 35-45 minutes, or until fruit is tender and slightly browned. Spoon over spiced dal and enjoy! DSC_0010-1