Light, fluffy bubble waffles are taking over social media feeds lately. But what exactly are these dot-covered treats? And what’s the best bubble waffle maker to recreate this foodie trend at home?
In this post, we’ll dive into the world of bubble waffles – from what they’re called to how they’re made. You’ll also discover the key differences setting bubbly waffles apart from traditional Belgian-style ones.
We’ll also demystify using cast iron bubble waffle makers to achieve picture-perfect, golden-brown results. Read on for everything you need to know about the dotty waffle craze!
What Are Bubble Waffles Called?
Bubble waffles go by many names, including:
- Egg waffles – Named for the bubbled egg-like appearance
- Hong Kong waffles – Originated as a street food in Hong Kong
- Bubble cake – Resembles a dotted sheet cake
- Gai daan jai – Cantonese name meaning “little chicken eggs”
Egg puffs, puffs pancake, or bubble puffs are also common names. But most know them as bubble waffles thanks to the trademark bubble design.
Fun fact – the treat is called “bubble” waffle due to the actual bubbles formed inside the batter when cooked. More on how that happens later!
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What does a bubble waffle taste like?
Bubble waffles have a distinctive taste and texture unlike traditional waffles. The interior has a light, eggy flavor similar to chiffon cake or angel food cake. When freshly made, the exterior is crispy with a hint of vanilla, providing texture contrast against the soft fluffy interior.
Overall, the mouthfeel is pillowy and airy. Bubble waffles are not overly sweet on their own, allowing creative customization with sweet or savory toppings. Their neutral flavor and texture make them ideal for both dessert and breakfast applications.
What is a Japanese bubble waffle?
The bubble waffle originated in Hong Kong, but Japan has also put their own spin on the treat. Japanese bubble waffles are made using a specialized appliance that pours ribbon shapes of batter directly into small bubble molds. They have smaller, denser bubbles compared to the larger, airier Hong Kong style.
The Japanese version also incorporates ingredients like matcha green tea powder or chocolate into the batter. Toppings skew towards soft serve ice cream, whipped cream, fruits and sweet sauces. Overall, Japanese bubble waffles have a more delicate, cake-like quality both visually and in terms of taste and texture.
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What is the Difference Between a Waffle and a Bubble Waffle?
While both are delicious, traditional waffles and bubble waffles have some key differences:
- Waffles are crispy outside but can be dense and chewy inside.
- Bubble waffles have an airy, light, and fluffy interior.
- Waffles have uniform, even indentations.
- Bubble waffles have a distinctive bubble dot pattern.
- Waffles use yeast or baking powder to rise.
- Bubble waffles get their lift from whipped egg whites.
- Waffles require deeper irons cooking batter on both sides.
- Bubble waffles use shallow molds allowing quick steaming.
- Waffle toppings are mainly syrups and fruits.
- Bubble waffles shine when customized with fruit, ice cream, and sauces.
So in summary, bubble waffles are a unique treat known for their dotted exterior, pillowy texture and capacity for creative toppings.
|Comparison||Traditional Waffle||Bubble Waffle|
|Texture||Crispy outside, dense inside||Light, airy, fluffy|
|Appearance||Even, uniform indentations||Signature bubble pattern|
|Ingredients||Yeast, baking powder for rise||Whipped egg whites for lift|
|Cooking Method||Cooks in deeper iron, both sides||Steams quickly in shallow mold|
|Customization||Syrups, fruits||Endless sweet and savory options|
What’s the Difference Between Bubble Waffles and Belgian Waffles?
It’s easy to confuse airy, rounded bubble waffles with fluffy Belgian waffles. But besides their similar appearance, they have distinct qualities:
- Belgian waffles trace back to 18th century Belgium.
- Bubble waffles originated as Hong Kong street food in the 1950s.
- Belgian waffles use yeast for rise.
- Bubble waffles rely on stiff egg white peaks to puff up.
- Belgian waffles have deeper, more defined pockets.
- Bubble waffles feature a signature polka-dot grid exterior.
- Belgian waffles tend to be crispy outside, fluffy inside.
- Bubble waffles are uniformly soft and pillowy throughout.
- Belgian waffles classically pair with powdered sugar, whipped cream, or syrup.
- Bubble waffles invite creative savory and sweet flavored drizzles.
While both share an airy quality, bubble waffles stand out for their unique appearance, texture and capacity for toppings.
|Comparison||Belgian Waffle||Bubble Waffle|
|Origin||18th century Belgium||1950s Hong Kong street food|
|Leavening||Yeast||Stiff whipped egg whites|
|Exterior||Deep, defined pockets||Dotted grid pattern|
|Interior||Crispy outside, fluffy inside||Uniformly pillowy|
|Customization||Powdered sugar, syrup||Endless sweet and savory drizzles|
How Do You Use a Cast Iron Bubble Waffle Maker?
Cast iron bubble waffle makers have become popular for achieving picture-perfect results. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
1. Prepare the batter
The batter comes together quickly by whipping egg whites, then gently folding in flour, milk, oil and vanilla.
2. Preheat the molds
Heat the oiled cast iron molds over medium heat until lightly smoking. This creates waffles with a crispy exterior.
3. Pour in the batter
Carefully fill each mold to the rim with batter. As it cooks, the batter will puff up to fill the mold.
4. Wait for the bubbles
After 2-3 minutes, you’ll see bubbles start to form across the surface. This is how the waffles achieve their signature look.
5. Check the bottom
Once the top is covered with bubbles, carefully lift the mold edge to peek at the bottom. It should be crispy and deeply golden brown.
6. Remove the waffles
Gently pry the waffles out of the molds using a fork or chopstick. Take care not to deflate the tender interior!
7. Customize and enjoy
Top your warm bubble waffles with sweet fruits, ice cream, drizzles, or even savory ingredients like eggs and avocado.
With the right batter technique and properly preheated cast iron molds, you’ll be a bubble waffle pro in no time!
Bubble waffles are the latest food trend taking over social media. With their photogenic polka dot exterior housing a pillowy interior, they’re perfect for customized sweet and savory toppings.
Though they resemble Belgian waffles, bubble waffles have a unique airy yet crispy texture thanks to their eggy batter and specialized cooking process. Cast iron molds help achieve the signature bubble effect.
Satisfy your bubble waffle curiosity by whipping up a batch at home. Your Instagram feed (and stomach) will thank you!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can you make bubble waffles without a bubble waffle iron?
While challenging, it is possible to make bubble waffle batter and pour it into a regular waffle maker in small batches. Results may not have as many bubbles, but the interior will be light and fluffy.
2. Can I use pancake mix instead of bubble waffle batter?
You can try, but pancake mixes won’t achieve the same airy, pillowy texture. Bubble waffle batter relies on stiff whipped egg whites rather than baking powder or yeast for rise.
3. How long do bubble waffle makers take to heat up?
Most cast iron bubble waffle molds take 5-10 minutes to fully preheat at medium heat. Ensuring they are hot enough prevents sticking and achieves a crispy exterior.
4. Is there a way to reheat leftover bubble waffles?
Yes! Stale bubble waffles can be refreshed by steaming or pan frying until hot and crispy again. They won’t quite match freshly made, but still taste delicious.
5. What is the best bubble waffle batter recipe?
Hong Kong-style recipes using all egg whites result in the airiest texture. Opt for milk over water, and avoid overmixing the batter to retain optimum fluffiness.
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