I distinctly remember walking around Paris shortly after the dawn of the new millennium. I remember what I wore - all black with a red pocketbook. I remember being alone - I've always enjoyed my own company. And I remember being in awe of the incredible spectrum of twinkling lights as I stood beside one of the ancient wings of the Louvre looking out at the Place de la Concorde.
There it stood. A giant, round, shimmering ferris wheel spinning in the night sky. I don't know about you but I'm not an amusement park person. The mere thought riding on anything that spins brings up not so pleasant childhood memories of being sick behind the local town carnival. But there was something magical about this particular ride, chiefly that it would offer incredible views of Paris from the top.
I bought my ticket, crammed myself into one of the heavy metal cars alongside a welcoming French family and up we went. Oh the views. Oh my stomach. Round and round we went until the wheel came to a grinding halt. We collectively pushed away the metal bar and said our goodbyes.
Believing food would somehow restore my equilibrium, I made my way to the concession stand. I expected to see the usual pink cotton candy and greasy fried dough but that's not what was being offered up at this Parisian festival.
Instead, I was presented with a piping hot Belgian waffle. Did I want strawberries and fresh whipped cream? Did I want honey?
"You're kidding, right?" I thought. Street food I'd actually want to eat?
It was delicious.
Because Valentine's Day is among other things, a time of togetherness, I'd like to share this Belgian Waffle with you. I'd like you to enjoy a little taste of Paris too.
Most of all I'd like to thank you. I want you to know how much I appreciate your friendship and support. You never know how people will react when you start a blog and I'm very grateful for the opportunity to share my photography and recipes with you. I so look forward to your comments and your emails.
So, on this Valentine's Day, I wish for you the confidence to live your life as you choose, the courage to pursue your dreams, the magic of new beginnings and the taste of something good and sweet. Happy Valentine's Day to you.
Belgian Waffles with Strawberries, Honey and Fresh Whipped Cream
250 g flour
20 g sugar
pinch of salt
75 g butter, melted & cooled
400 ml (14 fluid oz) milk
3 g vanilla extract
3 eggs, separated
pinch of cream of tartar
5 g sugar
236 ml (8 oz) heavy cream
powdered sugar to taste
Preheat a Belgian Waffle iron.
Combine the following ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with a paddle attachment: flour, 20 g sugar and salt. In a separate bowl blend the following ingredients with a fork: cooled melted butter, milk, vanilla and egg yolks.
Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients while mixing on low. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on medium high for about 1 minute until the mixture is blended. Set aside.
Using a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar. As the whites reach a soft peak add 5 g of sugar. Whisk until a moderately firm peak is reached (should still flop over at the very top when the whisk is pulled away.)
Fold the egg whites into the batter. Cook waffles according to your waffle makers instructions. In the meantime, whip the fresh cream with the powdered sugar to taste.
Serve the hot waffles immediately with sliced strawberries, local honey and fresh whipped cream. Enjoy!