In this brunch dish, bananas work hand-in-hand with poppyseeds to take waffles from “ho-hum breakfast cake” to “magical culinary sorcery.”
Truthfully, the bananas, poppyseeds and whole wheat flour up the ante on the waffle batter, but, at the end of the day, the waffles are just a vessel for this syrup. This brown sugar syrup is downright life-affirming. I thought that Earl Grey syrup from a while back was good, this is even better.
Let it flow freely into all the nooks and crannies of your waffles, or just pour it directly down your gullet. No one will fault you for it.
I call the above photo, “Banana In Repose.” I like to ensure my bananas are relaxed and ripe before use. In this case, you’ll want one banana that is extremely ripe to mash into the batter and another two or three that are perfectly ripe, as pictured above, to slice up for toppings.
A mountain of fresh berries really help to balance it all out. I strongly encourage pairing this dish with a mimosa and a cup of jo from your favourite local coffee shop. If you’re wondering about the near fluorescent colour of the mimosa pictured here, I can assure you it is a real mimosa. My friend Erin, starring as today’s hand model, brought over bubbly and a freshly pressed Super C juice from Raw Pulp & Grind for our fancy lady brunch.
I think this dish would be a great option for Mother’s Day brunch which is coming up on May 13th. Since I’ve offered you this solution for the question of brunch, I’m going to suggest you refocus your creative energies to coming up with a gift idea that doesn’t involve a scarf. If you’re looking for a cute card to celebrate her with, I have had a lot of luck at JV Studios and The Gifted Type.
Whether you’re planning to make this for Mother’s Day brunch or just breakfast for dinner, make sure you save any remaining syrup in the fridge and I’ll help you put it to good use in a Tiki cocktail. Stay tuned for that recipe later this week!
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1¼ cups water, divided
- ¾ cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 tbsp salted butter or unsalted with a generous pinch of salt
- 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ tsp pure vanilla
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup whole-wheat flour
- 2 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 medium very ripe banana
- 1½ cups milk
- 3 egg whites
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 3 to 4 medium ripe-but-firm bananas
- 2 cups fresh raspberries, blueberries or strawberries (optional)
Measure granulated sugar into a large heavy-bottom saucepan. Pour in ¼ cup water. Do not stir. Measure out in a separate bowl remaining cup water and stir in brown sugar until dissolved. Set aside near the stove unit you will be using.
Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil without stirring. Let bubble briskly for 4 to 5 minutes or until the sugar begins to change color. Without stirring, swirl pan gently on the unit until the color becomes deeply golden. Avert your face (as hot steam rises) and near the side rather than in the middle of the pan, pour in brown sugar mixture. Boil briskly for 5 minutes. Slide pan off heat and stir in butter, lemon juice and vanilla. The syrup is extremely hot so leave to cool in pan on stove until warm. Syrup thickens as it cools. (Once cooled, cover and refrigerate if making ahead. Warm briefly in microwave; stir well before serving.)
To make waffles, mix flours with poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Peel very ripe banana; use a fork to mash, leaving some texture. Stir milk with banana.
Using an electric mixer or whisk, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Whisk milk mixture and melted butter into flour mixture until almost smooth; some small lumps remain. Fold in egg whites.
Preheat waffle iron until very hot. Spray grids with nonstick spray if needed. Bake in batches for 4 to 5 minutes or until waffles are golden and crisp. Keep waffles warm directly on oven rack while making more. (If making ahead, cool waffles on a rack; cover and keep at room temperature for up to a day or freeze. Lightly toast waffles in toaster oven to restore crispness.)
Meanwhile thinly slice bananas. Pile on top of waffles and sprinkle with fresh berries. Serve waffles with a pitcher of warm syrup.
Recipe from: Bentz-Crowley, Marilyn. "Whole Wheat Banana Waffles with Brown Sugar Syrup." Food & Drink. Spring 2008.