Rebecca Carey (13/06/2009)
The Perfect Belgian Waffle
The salty tang of the sea breeze put us in the mood for something sweet.
There was only one place to go: The one place that so frequently lulls us back to it, alluring us with its promise of pudding perfection! 'Mullion Meadows', of course!
Like the emerald castle at the end of the yellow-brick-road, the quiet coastal footpath takes us to the cafe in the outskirts of the village of Mullion – a quiet community in the heart of Cornwall.
The café neighbours the chocolate shop, where the delicious aroma of melted chocolate wafts across the air, tempting us in. For now we can just about resist it, but we can be sure that we will be returning home with at least one more luxury than we set off with.
We enter the cafe and see the source of the sweet fragrance – the glass doors at the end of a small corridor encase a wheel where the chocolate is being churned, ready for moulding. Its hypnotic rhythm teases our taste buds, as the river of shining chocolate folds beautifully into itself, creating a never-ending ripple of milky, brown gloss.
The kid in the queue in front gazes dreamily at the wheel, with only one thought painted clearly across his greedy little face: ‘Is this the day they've forgotten to lock that door?’
We don't even need to look at the menu board to know what to order – although the freshly-baked goodies in the cabinet in front of us are tempting, we cannot say no to the rare treat that is the Belgian Waffle.
The three of us take our seat by the window (making sure to stay in sight of the wheel of chocolate) and chatter away about nothing in particular as another care-free summer's day drifts lazily by.
The same kid from the queue is being scolded at the next table for trying to sneak off, and we can't quite tell if the scowl on his face owes to the scolding or that the door was indeed locked, but it quickly melts away as his waffle arrives.
That must mean that ours will come soon, and we wait with baited breath as the waitress scurries back to the kitchen. Our spoons are already poised as she emerges with her tray, and carefully slides three plates onto our table.
It is then that we remember how hard it is to bring ourselves to destroy the gorgeous picture before us: a lightly toasted waffle drizzled in maple syrup which seeps out across the plate – crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, half-hidden under two scoops of smooth vanilla ice-cream of a colour for which a name has not yet been invented, but it beautifully complements the rich honey-colour of the syrup, the toasted-toffee colour of the waffle and somehow contrasts the pure white of the whipped cream that embellishes it. This illusion of perfection is topped off neatly with a halved chocolate, with the mint centre allowed to ooze into the cream.
However, this is just a fraction of the enjoyment and each of us tucks in hungrily as the chatter stops, replaced only by an atmosphere of complete satisfaction.
The textures blend together, creating a symphony of pleasure. The warmth of the waffle harmonizes impossibly with the coolness of the ice-cream, as a flawless combination of the unique flavours that would otherwise have spoiled each other. Perfectly temperate. The cream melts away in my mouth, as the waffle soaks up the sweetness of the syrup. This is more than just food – much more than just fuel – this is excellence!
Each mouthful seems different and consistently better than the one before as the flavours fuse together, and yet each mouthful brings me closer to the last one.
As I scrape the last morsel of sweetness off my plate I feel comfortably full and completely contented in every way, and so the idle chat continues. Once again our compliments to the chef, as my brother and I eagerly ask when's the next time we can walk here. To even try to recreate this dessert ourselves would be nothing short of madness, and we refuse to order a Belgian Waffle from anywhere else for fear of it falling short of our standards (although admittedly the bar has been raised impossibly high). The kid next to us wants to know if he can move to ‘Belgia’.
What more can I say?
Author: Rebecca Carey Email: