Gluten-Free Sweet Amaranth Waffles with Spiced Chai Poached Pears

date10.11.16

Gluten-Free Sweet Amaranth Waffles with Spiced Chai Poached Pears

All week long, I look forward to brunch. Who’s with me? Sunday afternoon brunch with my hair still frazzled and jammies under my apron. The kind of slow Sunday where you prepare gluten-free sweet amaranth waffles flecked with cinnamon and nutmeg, while spiced chai poached pears simmer on the stove as topping.

This past weekend, our Sunday brunch was Texas BBQ with my husband’s extended family in San Antonio – ribs, brisket, sausage, and potato salad. And don’t get me wrong, I thought long and hard about smuggling a rack of ribs home in my luggage, but at the end of a week of Texas BBQ, I’m ready for some whole grains and a lazy Sunday.

Gluten-Free Sweet Amaranth Waffles with Spiced Chai Poached Pears

We just got home from a highly choreographed week of travel that almost unravelled an hour before our flight, and not even from one of the major predictable things that could have gone wrong.

I spent two days in Seattle with KitchenAid, while Lucas stayed home all alone with the baby for the first time. The plan was for me to land back in Oakland at 8:07am on Wednesday, where they’d be waiting in the terminal to catch our 9:50am flight to Austin together. I pre-packed Zoella’s suitcase and left Lucas with an excessively detailed checklist to help with getting the baby and all the luggage to the airport and through security by himself (relatedly: do you know how much shit a baby needs?!).

Off without a hitch: My morning flight was on time (whew!), Lucas actually woke up to his 6am alarm (magic!), and Zoella held it together all the way to the airport.

Gluten-Free Sweet Amaranth Waffles with Spiced Chai Poached Pears

Things were going smoothly, until the ticket agent insisted Lucas show official proof that our 8 month old baby was less than 2 years old. Before you’re like, “well that’s protocol” – I called ahead to add her as a lap child and they told me that she was so young we didn’t need a birth certificate. Sadly it turns out her instagram baby pictures don’t count as proof.

Aside from, you know, looking at her as proof, they eventually reluctantly accepted a screenshot of her birthday on the health insurance website – probably persuaded by the panic on Lucas’s face.

To be fair, when they went through security, the TSA agent asked, “if you take her out of the carrier, can she walk through the metal detector?” So I’m pretty sure the folks who work at Oakland Airport have never met a baby before.

Gluten-Free Sweet Amaranth Waffles with Spiced Chai Poached PearsGluten-Free Sweet Amaranth Waffles with Spiced Chai Poached Pears

Now we’re ready for waffles. Back when I shared my savory amaranth waffles with pear fennel salad, I promised a sweet companion for them, but instead teased you with the spiced chai pear topping first. This Sunday, we can both look forward to waffles and you can have both sweet and savory. This sweet rendition is kissed with nutmeg and cinnamon and a hint of sugar. Earthy nutty amaranth balances nicely with the spiced chai poached pears and honeyed pear syrup. A few sprinklings of candied popped amaranth to add some crunch and a dollop of whipped cream clouds to finish it all off.

Gluten-Free Sweet Amaranth Waffles with Spiced Chai Poached Pears

It’s like an ice cream sundae in waffle form. (Also I want to put this candied popped amaranth on all my ice cream sundaes…)

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Gluten-Free Sweet Amaranth Waffles with Spiced Chai Poached Pears
Author: 
Yields: 4 dessert servings
 
Ingredients
Gluten-Free Sweet Amaranth Waffles
Candied Popped Amaranth & Whipped Cream (optional)
  • 1 cup popped amaranth (from about ¼ whole grain amaranth)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Instructions
Gluten-Free Sweet Amaranth Waffles
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the amaranth flour, oat flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca starch, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the milk, egg yolks, melted butter, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer or an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until they stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined. Fold in the whole grain amaranth, if using. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter until just combined - do not over mix.
  5. If using an electric waffle iron, cook waffles according to manufacturer directions, lightly spraying the iron with canola oil. If using a stovetop waffle iron, be sure to heat up both sides for at least 3 minutes on medium heat. Lightly spray the top and the bottom of the waffle iron with canola oil. Pour ¾-1 cup of batter into the middle of the waffle iron and cook for 60-90 seconds. Flip the waffle iron and cook for another 60-90 seconds. Gently open the waffle iron to check the waffle and, if needed, continue cooking until both sides are crispy. (Every stove is slightly different, but mine is ready after 90 seconds on both sides). Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining batter.
  6. Divide among 4 plates and serve topped with poached pear, candied popped amaranth, pear syrup, and whipped cream (recipes below)
Spiced Chai Poached Pears & Pear Syrup
  1. Prepare the poached pears and pear syrup according to the recipe here.
Candied Popped Amaranth
  1. Heat a large deep skillet or saucepan over high heat for at least 3 minutes. Have a bowl nearby to pour the popped amaranth into.
  2. Put the ¼ cup whole grain amaranth into the pan and watch it pop! It should start popping in about 10 seconds. Keep cooking, stirring, until it's completely popped a few seconds longer, being careful not to burn it. When it's finished popping, quickly pour the popped amaranth into a bowl to cool. Measure out 1 cup popped amaranth and transfer it to a heat-proof mixing bowl.
  3. In a small pot, heat the water and sugar over medium high heat, stirring until the sugar melts. Cook, stirring, until the sugar turns dark amber colored and smells caramelized. Pour the caramelized sugar over the amaranth and stir to combine.
  4. Pour the candied amaranth onto a baking sheet and spread it out to cool. Break it apart to sprinkle on top of waffles.
Whipped Cream
  1. In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, with a hand mixer, or by hand, whisk together the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until soft peaks form.
  2. Serve dollops on top of waffles.

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33 Comments

  1. Can an eight month old walk? For real? I’m so glad these are the people tasked with keeping our transportation systems safe. That cynicism aside, these waffles look excellent. I need to make them for a lazy brunch of my own this fall.

  2. Dyinggg with this Oakland TSA story! I would love to see a little baby walk alone thru the metal detector….or put their little arms up and stand with their legs spread for the x-ray machine?? Haha.

  3. Oh no!!!!! Sorry ya’ll had to deal with that! Zoella must have looked much more mature than Fiona (and she was 18 months!!) because we didn’t have any issues at OAK on our way to HI. Glad everything worked out in the end.

    Now on to these waffles…

    …they were certainly worth the wait. I’m usually more of an eggs & bacon breakfast guy, but these waffles have me droooooling! Can we have a breakfast playdate soon?!! :)

    • SEE?! I feel like if you’d have had any issues you would have told us to bring the dang birth certificate. I got a letter from her DR to use from now on…but also I should really go down and pick up her birth certificate. Sighhh…

      Yay!! And yes. I’ll bring the baby and you bring the breakfast? K? It’s a deal. It’s settled. See you soon!

  4. Carla says:

    We both know that Z is a VERY advanced baby, but TSA took it to another level. COME ON, TSA.

    Also, my lentils required me to spend an additional 20 minutes leaving Austin. I told them to get ready because they definitely weren’t the last lentils they’d see that day. I wonder if lentils can walk through the metal detector?

  5. omg, TSA come on!!!!!!! I can’t believe anyone on the phone told you not to bother bringing a birth certificate. It’s ridiculous that they NEED one for a baby that young, but dumb that someone would tell you misinformation. come on oakland!! So glad you guys made it! gah stressful!

  6. Oy travel :( Sounds like a good trip still :)

  7. I can’t believe you had to offer proof an eight month old was younger than two!! Crazy. Sunday brunch is my favourite too – french toast and ricotta hotcakes have been on high rotation lately around here. Your waffles look EPIC – I would be so stoked if I was served that in a cafe! The perfect golden brown and the pears & syrup just finishes it off.

  8. OMG! Seriously. TSA makes my blood boil. If you can’t tell the difference between an 8month old and 2 year old, you shouldn’t have a job. PERIOD. Sighhhhhh. Thanks god for brunch. It actually saves lives.

  9. You’ve been all over the place! Sounds like a grand adventure.. Seattle and Austin. But then theirs the adventure of traveling all on it’s own… not the destination or journey, but through TSA. Every. Single. Time! OMG. Makes me not want to fly. Anyway, these waffles! So after getting Alternative Baker, I’ve since stocked my pantry. I’ve all the goodies to make these mouthwatering waffles with these sublime pears. Fabulous breakfast! And yes to the apron over the jammies! Hooray!

    • I’m sure glad to be home with the kitties though. I always think they’re going to give me the cold shoulder when I get back, but instead they just love me more! I’m so excited for your stocked pantry and to see what you churn out of it!

  10. You’re back with the waffles! I have to say, I am TOTALLY a sweet waffle person, so I am debating eating these for dinner. No shame!

  11. The TSA people are idiots. Also, you’re making me regret giving away my waffle maker.

  12. amanda paa says:

    i would have panicked, mega. so glad they ended up letting you all take flight to austin! sounds like it was a delicious time. but truth is, i would take these waffles or ribs. :)
    also, seeing you in seattle was the best….. wish we could have explored more together. xo

  13. i LOVEEEEEE brunch! Definietly my favorite way to hang out and enjoy my family’s company. These waffles though, incredible! The mixture of the whole grains with the chai spice and pear topping warms my heart! <3

  14. Glad you guys made it through that little hiccup, sometimes the TSA can be kind of crazy! I have been thinking about these waffles since I saw your insta post and now I’m wondering if sweet waffles are acceptable dinner because they look so amazing, I don’t think I want to wait until next weekend. Amaranth is one of my favourites too. Love love love love love these! xo

  15. Alanna says:

    Girl, you WIN at waffles! I feel so lucky I got to try one of these beauties – I’m still dreaming about it. <3

  16. I swear those TSA people.. they are crazy!
    Wait, she is not walking yet, is she? Did I miss that?
    I don’t have amaranth flour in my cupboard nor I have ever baked with it, but looking at these photos I want to go to the store, get some, and make these waffles on Sunday.
    Gorgeous photos as always my friend.
    PS: Give that cheese girl a big hug from me please.

    • Hahaha no – she’s very far from walking. She’s not even crawling yet! I highhhhhly recommend adding amaranth flour to your arsenal of gluten-free flours. PLUS, you’ll find lots more uses for it in Alternative Baker! Also – thank you! Also also – she says hi. Or at least I think that’s what she said;)

  17. Aaaah! I didn’t hear the part about them asking if she could walk through the metal detector. I’m DYING. Actually laughing out loud. I’m picturing her on her hands and knees on the dirty airport security floor, wearing one of her cute little outfits, wagging her butt and contemplating even crawling.

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