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Waffle on a stick

Waffle House, which will feature as a pop-up shop at Farmer’s Market on November 22-23, is a storehouse of offbeat flavours and guilt-trips

Think waffles, and the three classic combinations of nutella and banana, honey and maple syrup come to mind. However, Nidhi Gadia, founder of Waffle House, that presently features as a pop-up shop around town at events, takes the road less travelled, along with chef and food consultant Bhakti Mehta, to give the good ol’ waffle a scrumptious makeover.

Meet the new waffle on a stick. For this, Gadia procured special waffle makers from Germany, along with the regular square grills.

White Chocolate Ganache with Sprinkles, Dark Chocolate Ganache with Sprinkles, Classic Waffle with Icing Sugar and Sprinkles and Dark and White Chocolate Waffle
White Chocolate Ganache with Sprinkles, Dark Chocolate Ganache with Sprinkles, Classic Waffle with Icing Sugar and Sprinkles and Dark and White Chocolate Waffle

To see how the waffles are made and taste a few of them, I head to her kitchen in Goregaon for a sneak peek. The smell of the eggless batter wafts in the air as I chat with her about her set-up. After a masters in marketing from Manchester, UK, Gadia returned to Mumbai where she worked for an ad agency. “The idea to set up an all-waffle brand came from my craving for good waffles in the city. Having gorged on them in Amsterdam and Belgium, I didn’t really find the perfect waffle here. So I decided to start Waffle House,” she adds.

Dark Chocolate Ganache with Sprinkles and Salty Caramel Waffle
Dark Chocolate Ganache with Sprinkles and Salty Caramel Waffle

Even as we speak, Mehta mixes sugar and fresh strawberries on a stove to make fresh strawberry compote. Then she pours the batter into the waffle makers and sets the temperature. The fragrance is intoxicating. This is the star ingredient on the first waffle I am to try — the Strawberry Cheesecake Waffle, which comes on a regular square waffle base, topped with a dollop of cream cheese. When I cut into it, the waffle is crisp and warm. The tangy fruit intermingles with the sugar syrup and the cream cheese oozes all around. My appetite whetted, it’s time to taste the rest.

The only thing that comes canned is the sauce of the Blueberry Waffle, which is also topped with cream cheese and is peppered with colourful confetti. This one is a great change from the classics. And although I despise bananas in my desserts, that equation changes the minute I taste the Banana and White Sauce Waffle lightly topped with caramel sauce and hazelnuts. With a smooth texture of white chocolate, interrupted by the grainy, nutty hazelnuts and a gooey finish of the banana, this combination is Mehta’s creative best.

The fun part begins with the stick waffles. I try Caramel and Cream, which is comfort food on-the-go. The sauce is dense and more salty than usual, to be able to cut the sweetness of the waffle. A sucker for all things caramel, I am happily surprised that none of the flavours are overtly sweet.

More said the little about the classic Nutella flavour, which is topped with crushed almonds, but very seldom do we come across something that gives Nutella a tough fight. The Dark Chocolate Ganache Waffle Stick with its deep and bitter sauce is one. If the gooey chocolate gives your taste buds a trampoline jump, the light waffle imparts the perfect flavour landing. While this is the last of the sweet waffles, I end the tasting with a savoury Pesto and Orange Cheddar Cheese Waffle.

We’ve heard of sweet endings, but this savoury ending packs in the freshness of basil, comfort of cheese and the crunch of a perfectly cooked waffle that Waffle House has beautifully mastered.

Waffle House will take part at Farmer’s Market at High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel on November 22-23
For more details, email reach@wafflehouse.co.in
Cost: The waffles are priced between Rs 150 and Rs 250

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