There are few dishes in the Norwegian kitchen there are as many recipes of as “vafler”. These heart-shaped, sweetly aromatic and soft-to-the-bite Norwegian waffles are as famous in people’s homes as they are at public events and in Norwegian seamen’s churches around the world. The first recipe for vafler was thought to have been created in the 16th century and stems from the Kjelland’s family library in Stavanger. The ingredients then were flour, sugar, butter, eggs, cardamom, muscat, cloves, anise seed and ginger. Today, still many of these ingredients remain in the various adaptations around the country. If you are curious to learn more, read my previous blog post where I list 10 things you may not know about Norwegian waffles.
Norwegians are experts at entertaining and making things “koselig” (cozy). In that respect we are very much like Danes and practice hygge in much the same way. When you visit a Norwegian home, most likely you will see these waffles pop up on the table with a big pot of black coffee and some extra cookies and pastries too. It’s the way we show love and appreciate for you, that you took time out of your day to come visit.
I’ve taken this tradition with me to the United States and after I became vegan, have been experimenting with different recipes to create an even better version of vafler. I was looking to make them be crispy on the outside, yet still soft, moist and flavorful on the inside. All without the use of eggs. I’m excited to say I finally managed to get both the flavor and texture I was looking for by adding one ‘secret’ ingredient: Aquafaba.
Aquafaba literally translated, is “bean water”, and the easiest source of aquafaba is to get a can of chickpeas. Drain the water out of the can, and this beige-colored water can be whipped up and act in place of egg whites to make whipped cream, mergingues, pavlova, or add into pancake batters and of course… waffles! When adding the whipped bean water into the waffle batter, it instantly makes the mixture lighter and serves as a great replacement for eggs. I added applesauce to the batter as well, which in itself is an egg replacer. I was really pleased with the result and happy to have found such a simple ‘miracle cure’ in my quest for the perfect waffles.
A quick tip when whipping aquafaba is to use a stabilizer like cream of tartar or xantham gum. This way, the aquafaba will stay whipped longer and have stiffer peaks than if you left the stabilizer out.
You can keep aquafaba in your fridge for 7 days but it will keep in your freezer for 6 months. I like to freeze mine in ice cube trays, since you’ll only be needing small quantities at a time.
I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I did, I know it will be a classic in my house in the fall when spending more koselige evenings indoors with friends and family.
NORVEGAN HEART-SHAPED WAFFLES WITH AQUAFABA