Caramelized Banana Vegan Liege Waffles
If there were a way to make bananas foster in a waffle iron, this would be getting pretty close. This vegan waffle recipe has all the features of a traditional Liege waffle, with additional flavor to drive your taste buds—yes, bananas. They're rich and complete on their own, but for mega decadence, top with vegan vanilla ice cream and a swirl of rum extract. Makes the equivalent of 4 (7-inch) round Belgian waffles. Important: read the tips on vegan Liege waffles first.
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one 1/4-ounce package)
- 1/3 cup warm water does not include water required for egg replacer
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup vegan margarine non-hydrogenated
- 3 egg replacer eggs
- 2 ripe medium bananas, mashed (1/2 to 3/4 cup mashed)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 to 1 cup Swedish or Belgian pearled sugar or coarsely crushed sugar cubes (see note)
- Begin at least 3 hours in advance of baking the waffles, or 1 1/2 hours in advance if using quick-rise yeast.
- Read the tips on vegan Liege waffles.
- In a large bowl, mix the yeast, warm water, and sugar, and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes.
- Add the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and salt, and knead for 2 to 3 minutes until most of the flour is incorporated into a crumbly ball.
- In a small bowl or cup, soften the margarine in the microwave. In another small bowl or cup, prepare the egg replacer per the manufacturer’s directions.
- In a third small bowl or cup, mash the bananas.
- Add the margarine, egg replacer mix, and mashed bananas to the dough in the large bowl, and mix well with your hands. (Yes, they will get messy.)
- Cover the bowl and place it in a warm location until the flour mixture has almost doubled (see note).
- Mix the cinnamon and vanilla extract into the dough thoroughly. Then fold in the pearled sugar until it’s evenly distributed, and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
- Bake roughly half a waffle’s worth of batter at a time, generously spraying the iron with oil prior to each waffle—even if the iron already looks very oily from the waffles, much of it is also melted sugar.
- These waffles harden slightly as they cool. Depending upon your iron, they may take up to a minute less than the manufacturer’s suggested average cooking time. Serve immediately, or allow to cool and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
While the results will be slightly different, you can substitute 3/4 cup to 1 cup of demerara or turbinado sugar. You can use your oven to create a warm spot for the flour mixture to rise. Make sure the oven rack is low enough for the bowl to fit in the oven. Turn the oven on for 1 to 2 minutes at 200 degrees F. (It shouldn’t actually reach 200 degrees, but just warm up slightly.) Turn off the oven, place the covered bowl on the rack, and close the oven door to keep in the warmth. If you wish to let the batter stand overnight, strengthening the yeast flavor, covering the bowl and leaving it at room temperature will work fine.