I was not going to give up until I found the perfect wafer receipt. I looked at every wafer receipt I could find and read everything I could online about making them. I had emails from supporters cheering me on. I even received an email from both Clarissa Dillon and Mercy Ingram, who have been following my tale of woe.
They had made wafers a few weeks ago – not just to make wafers, however. It seems Clarrisa is working on a publication celebrating the arrival of the Dutch and the founding of New Amsterdam 400 years ago. And the Dutch made wafers. Mercy emailed me great pictures of the process and the receipt, To Fry Wafers, from the Sensible Cook, Dutch Foodways in the Old and the New World, translated and edited by Peter Rose. It has a lot of cinnamon in it and ginger. So I printed this receipt as a possibility.
Still searching, I found “To make the best Wafers,” Gervase Markham, The English Housewife: Banqueting and made dishes. Others seemed to have success with this receipt. I also re-read a great article by Louise Miller, The Wafer – A Delicate Dessert. This had the receipt, “To make Goofer Wafers” from the English Housewifery by Elizabeth Moxon, 1764.
I really liked the name of Elizabeth’s receipt. What are goofers? With a bit of research I found that in the Oxford English Dictionary it is spelled gofer and is defined as a thin batter-cake with a honeycomb pattern stamped by an iron plate and Gofer irons is mentioned. So that is where the interesting name comes from. My wafer irons is the same as Moxmon’s Gooffer irons.
It’s Sunday night again and Allan fires up the hearth. Elizabeth’s receipt won the shuffle on the table and I cut it down by a fourth. I instantly loved the batter. It was much thicker than pancake batter and stuck to the spoon. We heated up the goofer iron and I put a blob of the batter in the middle on the hot side. Allan closed it up, this time there was a loud whistling sound as steam escaped. OH! Horror, visions of last week swam in my head, batter spitting out everywhere. BUT NO, I could smell the cinnamon and nutmeg and everything looked okay. After a few minutes of turning, Allan opened it up and I took a picture of the best looking wafer we have made so far.
As they came off the hot iron, I rolled them up, for the first one I used the tin cone. However, I really wanted to try to make them like piroulines.
I grabbed a wooden spoon and put some butter on it and I began rolling the wafers while still hot. First I was doing it on the plate and they were not very tight. I took some parchment paper and put it on the table then rolled them and that seemed better, yet still not small and tight as I would have liked.
Allan went to the basement and came back up with a ¼ inch dowel washed it and buttered it. This worked better, still not the size of a pirouline. Perhaps it is because the size of the wafer is not large enough.
However, by now, I’m beaming and ecstatic that I found a receipt that I can share at the Just Dessert Workshop in a few weeks. It took trial and error and I appreciate the encourgament from everyone.
I will take these wafers and put them in a tin and see how long they will last. Not because we would eat them in short order, however, because I want to see if they will still be as good in six months as when they were first made. By the way the receipt made 8 wafers and one was shared by Allan and me. Yes, this is definitely a keeper receipt. It tasted wonderful.
Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.