I was never a huge fan of chocolate until I made this waffle recipe a few years ago. Although I've made waffles for quite some time now, I was often put off recipes which created waffles which were soft and couldn't stand up to syrup, often making them limp and soggy. So, after a little bit of experimentation, I developed a recipe which created a crispy, flaky exterior and soft, light interior waffle. Perfect! Yet, I wanted variations of this recipe, so once again, I experimented with cocoa powder to create this light, decadent and amazing chocolate waffle. My goal was to simplify this recipe, using my original waffle recipe as the foundation, then adding a few ingredients which are staples in many plant-based kitchens, such as cocoa powder, coconut oil, coconut milk and apple cider vinegar.
Cocoa powder is an unsweetened powder produced by grinding the seeds of the fruit of a tropical evergreen tree called the cacao, or cocoa tree. These seeds, or beans, are first fermented, then dried and roasted.
More importantly, it should be established that cocoa powder is not the same thing as cocoa mix, or instant cocoa, which—when combined with hot water or milk—instantly produces a mug full of hot cocoa. Typically sold in packets, this product contains cocoa, sugar, dehydrated milk and other ingredients, but is not what you would use to bake brownies, chocolate cake, or this waffle recipe.
Chocolate is made from cacao beans — or rather seeds — from the Theobroma cacao tree. This plant produces large, pod-like fruits, each containing 20–60 beans surrounded by a sticky, sweet-tart white pulp
As with any baking recipe, it's important that you mix all of the dry ingredients separately from the wet ingredients, then combine them. This will assist in homogenizing all ingredients, making a smooth, minimal-lumping waffle batter.
There are a few "make ahead" steps you'll need to take which will save you prep time. For instance, this recipe requires vegan buttermilk, which is a simple two-ingredients process. Simple mix the full-fat coconut milk with the apple cider vinegar and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. The acid from the apple cider vinegar will cause the milk to curdle slight and add tangy flavor found in traditional dairy buttermilk. Buttermilk, an essential acidic ingredient in many baking recipes, helps tenderize gluten, giving baked goods a softer texture and more body. Vegan buttermilk is a key ingredient in this recipe, so don't skip it!
You'll also need to prepare the Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer. I have found this to be one of the BEST egg replacement products for just about all of my baking needs. While you'll be tempted to add the egg replacer directly to the dry ingredients...don't. In a small bowl, combines 1 tablespoon of egg replacer and 2 tablespoons of water. Mix well and wet aside for 5 minutes. The water activates the ingredients in the egg replacer which makes it bind the batter, much like an egg. Be sure to combine the vegan buttermilk and egg replacer mixture with the wet ingredients.
While you may use a fork or rubber spatula to combine all of the ingredients, using a wire whisk is best for light whipping, adding air to the batter, which makes it light and fluffy.
To prevent your waffle batter from sticking to the waffle iron, I recommend lightly coating the grates with coconut or grape seed oil or using an oil spray. I typically my Misto oil sprayer for coating cooking and baking surfaces. You simply add your favorite cooking oil to the bottle and use the pump cap to create a aerosol mist. You can find the Misto here.
Use a measuring cup to measure batter and place in the center of the grate. No need to spread the batter and the grates will create a even waffle once the iron is closed. Use a 1/2 cup to make 4-5 large waffles or 1/3 cup to make 6-8 medium-size waffles.
Since this recipe is plant-based, I wanted to be sure I incorporated a dairy-free whipped topping recipe. Recipe below.
To make the maple almond butter, in a small bowl combine 1 cup of almond butter and 1/4 c. pure maple syrup. Mix by hand until well combined. The almond butter butter will provide the nuttiness, which is a great chocolate accompaniment, and sweetness for your waffle, so you won't need additional syrup, unless you want more.
I am a huge Sunday brunch person, so this recipe is ideal for small and large family gatherings. In order to keep your waffles warm while you making batches, set your oven to its lowest setting, place waffles on a baking sheet and keep in the oven until ready to serve.
Chocolate Almond Butter Waffles
Author | Regina Thomas Dillard
1 cup Spelt Flour (sub. Buckwheat Flour for gluten-free)
1 1/4 T. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 c. Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 1/4 c. Full Fat Coconut Milk (canned ok)
1 T. + 1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 T. Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer
1 T. Coconut Oil
1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
Prepare Coconut "Buttermilk"
in a small bowl combine coconut milk with apple cidar vinegar. Set aside for 5-10 minutes
Prepare Bob's Red Milk Egg Replacer
in a small bowl combine 1 T. Egg replacer mix and 2 T. water. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Heat waffle iron
In medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl combine all wet ingredients, including coconut "buttermilk" and egg replacer mixture.
Using a wire whisk, add wet ingredient to dry, combining a small amount at a time until all ingredients have been well incorporated.
Lightly grease waffle iron, top and bottom grates.
Use 1/2 c. to measure batter. Place batter in center of bottom grate. Close top grate and follow manufacturer's directions. Usually 1 minute per side.
Remove waffle from waffle iron.
Heat over to lowest setting.
Place waffles onto baking sheet and keep in oven until all waffles are done and ready to serve.
Coconut Milk Whipped Cream
1 14.5 oz can full-fat coconut milk
2-3 T. Raw Agave Nectar
1/4 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
Place a coconut milk in refrigerator and allow to sit overnight.
Next morning: Without shaking the can, turn can over and open lid.
Remove the coconut solids (only) from can and place in a mixing bowl.
Using a handheld mixer, mix on low speed.
Add agave and vanilla.
Mix all ingredients on high speed until whipped peaks form.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Will keep in refrigerator for 3 days.
Note: Use coconut liquid for smoothie and shake recipes.
Regina Thomas Dillard is a certified plant-based chef, the author of "FEED: Living Food Recipes to be Made and Eaten with Love", and founder of Inner + Sanctum Wellness, a business dedicated to assist others as they embark on their holistic journey. All products are handmade and sourced from reputable organic and natural ingredients.