Lately, I’ve been planning a special brunch for my family who will be visiting me in Spain in two weeks! Unless you’re a close friend or family who I’ve cooked for, you might not know that I have an obsession with planning meal spreads. Not just one, but as many dishes as I can fit onto a table. When I get creatively inspired by food, I love piecing together a menu that’s unexpected, fun and balanced. Seriously, my stress reliever after a 12 hour shift would involve kicking my shoes off and intensely sifting through cookbooks and Pinterest and creating a prospective eating experience. So back to this brunch – covering the savory side of a meal is the easy part. The sweet stuff, however, is a different kind of effort. Because I was a pastry cook by day, this feels more like work to me. Unless, of course, I can think of something a little more wacky and original. So I decided to take my favorite dessert flavor and turn it into breakfast.
I’ve never been a fan of sweet breakfast food. I would have rather eaten pancakes, waffles and crepes for dessert instead of breakfast. Even so, I’ve just never been a big fan of plain, batter-based foods. Until I moved to Spain. The gofre and crepe carts have opened my eyes. I was blind, but now I see.
While brunch snobs may say street vendors are the worst place to sample great breakfast foods, I’d ask – to what extent one can truly experience fine dining when it comes to waffles and pancakes? Fine, the one exception might be the marionberry pancakes at The Fisherman’s Porch.
So I love that waffles are becoming a full on dessert trend and not simply smothered in syrup. It’s a bit flashy, but it’s colorful and certainly cute. Having worked in a dessert kitchen for several years, I appreciate the fun one can have with this type of trend. Even with the gofre street carts (which look like an oasis in the dessert when you’re heading home after a late night of dancing), the topping combinations are good. From strawberries and bananas to Nutella.
Another thing I like about waffles as an anchor for dessert – it’s kept simple. When it comes to breakfast foods, it’s more about layering the best topping combos and complimenting the texture of a simple fried batter, rather than refining the bulk of the dish or infusing it with something unnecessary. So in this recipe, you might say I’m cheating by using store-bought waffles. But the star of the show really is the dulce de leche sauce. I’m always surprised that people don’t realize just how easy it is to make. This is why I really wanted to share this recipe!
One thing, I’ve noticed, however is that the banoffee flavor isn’t common on menus, which is a damn shame because it’s DELICIOUS. Banoffee = dulce de leche, bananas and espresso. Is your mouth watering yet?
Waffles are a super common grocery item here, like I’ve never seen before, so I took advantage of this by using them instead of making my own waffles. The other ingredients are relatively simple, just infuse a classic homemade whipped cream. To make your own dulche de leche, boil some sweetened condensed milk. While it takes time to cook, you essentially have to do nothing. It’s more delicious than the store bought stuff, goes further for your buck and of course, you can brag about it having made it. I include the cook time for the dulce de leche in the prep time – don’t let those hours of ‘prep’ scare you off. You’ll only need to check on the water level of the submerged can. No major steps are involved here. You can even make this ahead of time and store the can in your pantry until you’re ready to use it.
This recipe is probably the easiest I’ve shared yet. And one can make extra servings depending on your preference for amount of whipped cream and dulce de leche per serving. These are the instructions for the simple components of the waffles. How much of each ingredient you prefer to use is up to you, but I’ll include my preference in the instructions.
Prep Time: 6 hours
- 4 medium waffles
- 2 cups + 3 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
- 1/8 cup granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons espresso powder
- 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- Bananas, sliced
For the dulce de leche sauce
- To prepare dulce de leche, remove paper label from can of sweetened condensed milk. Submerge the can in a saucepan filled with water and and boil for 5 hours. You will need to frequently check on the pot and refill with water to keep the can completely submerged.
- Once finished, remove the can from water and allow to cool down. Remove the dulce de leche from the can and whisk with 3 tablespoons heavy cream in a bowl.
For the espresso whipped cream:
- Whip 2 cups cream, sugar and espresso powder using a standing mixer, beginning on medium speed and slowly increasing speed until stiff peaks form, 2-3 minutes. Occasionally scrape down side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Set aside
- Layer your waffles, whipped cream, bananas and dulce de leche sauce on a plate. I recommend using a generous dollop of whipped cream, 1 medium banana and 1/8 cup of dulce de leche sauce per waffle. If your dulce de leche sauce is too thick to drizzle, microwave at 5 second intervals until it has reached a thin consistency.
- You should store extra dulce de leche sauce in an air tight container and keep refrigerated.