Around about the same time that I started fondly reminiscing about last year’s holiday to Florida, my FB timeline decided to prompt my recollections with this photo of what turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg when it came to the vast array of fantastic M- and G-friendly food in Disney. These Mickey waffles were a huge part of what made our trip so successful and are one of M’s favourite memories about his first visit to “the most magical place on earth“. In fact, they were so popular that they have gained the unenviable status of one of the top 10 foods M is desperate to enjoy once he has a few more foods back in his diet. With so many of the key ingredients for your traditional waffle firmly in the “unsafe” camp, I turned my mind to what the basic ingredients of a successful waffle were and whether I could replace them and produce a waffle that might satisfy M’s longing.
I found a great recipe for egg-free waffles and, confident that I could make a replacement that would at very least look good, even if the taste wasn’t quite all it should be, I insisted on a detour during a family day out to buy my very first waffle-maker. I had previously done some research on the various options out there and once we were in-store, M helped me pick which one he thought would do the best job – a combined waffle-maker, sandwich-toaster and grill! Shopping done and the day’s activities completed, we headed home and I claimed the kitchen as a child-free zone until my experimenting was done.
The first recipe I adapted produced some amazing waffles and I just wish I had a photo that captured the pure delight on M’s face when he first caught sight of his plate full of M-friendly waffles. Needless to say, he was rendered speechless – something that rarely happens as those of you who know us well will know – and he flung his arms around me, squeezing tight as he whispered “Thank you Mummy, you’re the very best Mummy in the world“. Both children declared them an instant hit and the speed at which those first 4 waffles disappeared from their plates would confirm that to be the case. Mike and I shared a fifth one between us and agreed that as delicious as they were, the rice flour had created a granular taste to the waffles, a problem that I have experienced before when baking with this tricky ingredient. I have found that making a wetter mix has been key in producing a less granular cake, but couldn’t quite see how to make this work with the thicker waffle batter and the limiting factor of only a handful of safe ingredients.
Not quite 100% satisfied with my first attempt and responding to the following day’s request for “..more waffles please!.” from M and G, this time I searched for a recipe for apple waffles and adapted it to suit our allergy needs. I used some apple purée to not only flavour the waffles, but also to replace the egg and add more liquid to the batter without diluting it too much. This batch cooked as well as the first and proved to be an equal success with my discerning duo. Mike also acted as a taste-tester and reported that the granular texture was considerably reduced with the addition of the apple, though it hasn’t disappeared completely. Whilst I will continue to strive for even better rice flour waffles, for now I’m more than happy to have found a way to replicate those Mickey waffles, even if they’re not quite Mickey-shaped!