February 3rd, began The Year of the Rabbit for the Chinese New Year and even though it's a winter occurance, it's a spring festival. The Rabbit is associated with the earthly branch symbol and 2011 is designated (Metal) Rabbit. I'm still new at this, but with the precious addition of our Madison last year, this has become a very important part of our lives and understanding of her culture.
When I espied this Egg Waffle iron in Williams-Sonoma, a few weeks ago, I knew I would make them for Chinese New Year. They are typically "street food" found primarily in Hong Kong, called gai daan jai, but I discovered them on a menu here in Seattle as well. They remind me of funnel cakes, which I use to make with my mother, dusted with confectioners' sugar and sometimes smothered with fresh strawberries and whipped cream! Last year I did Fortune Cookies and even though these were a little more challenging, they are delicious.
Chinese Egg Waffles (Gai Daan Jai)
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup milk
1 T vanilla extract
6 T (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 tsp. salt
6 egg whites, beaten to medium peaks
Vegetable oil for cooking
Separate eggs-placing the egg white in a separate bowl, for a clean separation.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, milk vanilla, melted butter, and sugar until combined. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Whisk the flour mixture into the egg yolk batter until no lumps remain.
Add one-third of the whipped egg whites and stir lightly--this lightens the batter so folding in the remaining egg whites will be easier. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites in 2 additions.
Set a wire rack on a baking sheet. Preheat both sides of the Egg Waffle Pan on separate burners over medium heat until hot. Lightly brush each side of the pan with vegetable oil and pour about 3/4 cup of batter in the center of the pan, immediately placing the other pan on top, then, flip over. Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, then, flip the plan and cook on the other side another 2 minutes.
Open the pan, invert the waffle onto the rack-lined baking sheet and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before serving. I dusted the tops with confectioners' sugar, folded it into quarters, then dusted again. Serve warm.
Just before the Chinese New Year began, we are also celebrating Maddie's "Gotcha Day"--January 27th. It's the day Maddie was placed in Erin's arms and Maddie said to her, "Mommy!" I cried.
In honor of her Gotcha Day, I've made a quilt to wrap her in our love forever. Love you sweet little girl!
Gung Hay Fat Choy to everyone. Enjoy!