These waffles sound fancier than they are and they taste more delicious than they sound. Did you follow that?
Dates are one of my favorite natural sweeteners, but they can be a bit too sweet sometimes so it’s nice to serve them with slightly savory or tangy ingredients to cut some of the richness. Hence why bacon-wrapped dates are friggin’ delicious.
In this case, the richness of the dates is balanced with a good dose of ricotta cheese (in the waffle and on top) and fresh lemon zest.
I’ve been on a real waffle kick lately and I like how these are pretty much the antithesis of the last waffle I made.
1) For syrup, dice dates, removing seeds. Stir together with water and syrup in a small saucepan until it's simmering. Cook until it reduces to a syrup. Keep warm until ready to serve.
2) Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients (eggs/milk/butter) in a smaller bowl.
3) Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients until well combined. The batter should be thick, but not dry or clumpy.
4) Stir in ricotta cheese and lemon zest.
5) Heat up waffle iron and spray it with nonstick spray or rub it down with some oil.
6) Add batter to iron (1/2 cup is a good start) and cook until waffle is crispy and golden brown, about 5 minutes.
7) Smear hot waffle with extra ricotta cheese and serve with date syrup and extra syrup.
This is a very standard waffle batter with a few add-ins. You’ll need these things.
As with any batter, it’s always a good idea to whisk together the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately and then stir them together. This just makes sure that everything is mixed well.
Once your basic batter is ready to roll, zest in some fresh lemon zest. This is great in any waffle but goes especially well with the ricotta cheese and date syrup.
I would also recommend whisking in about 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese right into the batter. More on this later.
This was my finished batter. It’s always a good idea to let waffle batter sit for about 20 minutes before using it so if you can plan ahead a bit you’ll end up with better waffles. But I’ve made them without waiting and they turn out great also.
The Date Syrup
Could you just cut up dates and stick them on a waffle? Sure. Is that my style? Not exactly. Remember when you’re cutting your dates that they have a huge pit right in the center. Be sure to remove each pit before you continue.
Date pit syrup is not a good idea if you would like to keep all your teeth.
Basically, just add your diced dates, the water, and the syrup (use real maple syrup please) to a small saucepan. Bring this all to a simmer and let it reduce for a few minutes until it’s nice and thick.
Then just keep it warm until needed!
Making the Waffles
Obviously, you’ll need a waffle maker to make waffles. This variety is my new recent obsession. It’s the best waffle maker I’ve ever used.
As you’ll see, I tried making these by pouring the batter into the waffle maker and then dotting it with ricotta cheese. This worked okay, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
The problem with the method is that it takes a minute or so to dot the waffle with cheese and also the cheese can kind of stick to the waffle iron if it is in direct contact.
So, I’d recommend just stirring the ricotta into the batter before you make the waffle.
You can keep made waffles warm in a 250 degree oven so everything is ready at once.
Serve these guys with a smear (technical term) of ricotta cheese, the date syrup, lemon zest, and more maple syrup.
Betsy thought these were the best waffles I’ve made and I’m not sure I could argue with her.
You know when they would be perfect?
Christmas morning. Just saying.