Chef'sChoice® Waffle Brownies:
Jacques Pépin's Fast Pink Fondant and Caramel-Glazed Strawberries (adapted from a recipe by Jacques Pépin):
Fast Pink Fondant:
1Place the chocolate and butter or shortening in a small saucepan. Melt over low heat. Set aside to cool.
2In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and salt until light in color. Add the sugar and vanilla.
3Beat by hand to combine and then fold in the cooled chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour and nuts, if using.
4Slowly add just enough milk to make a thick batter. Bake waffles according to your manufacturer's instructions. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Enjoy!
Fast Pink Fondant:
1Mix warm water, corn syrup, food coloring. Put confectioners' sugar in bowl and add water-corn syrup mixture.
2Stir with whisk until well-mixed then beat with whisk for 20 to 30 seconds, until very smooth.
3Depending on the moisture in the sugar, you may need slightly more water (approx. ½ tsp.) or, if fondant is too thin, add a little sugar.
4Arrange waffles on wire rack and spread a good tablespoon of fondant on each waffle heart so a little of it runs down the sides. This can be done ahead so the fondant dries slightly and remains shiny. The fondant should be used within an hour or so of preparation. Otherwise, cover with plastic wrap so it doesn't harden.
1For glazing, use ripe strawberries, preferably with stems so you can hold them easily as you dip them into the hot sugar (between 310°-320°F), be sure the berries are dry so they do not splatter, and proceed with caution.
2If berries are ripe and sugar is used right away while it is hot and thin, the shell of sugar crusted around the berries will be thin. The hot sugar will partially cook the ripe berries.
3Within 15 to 20 minutes, the berries will release some juice, which will begin to melt the shell of sugar, so the glazing cannot be done more than 1 hour before serving. The riper the berries the faster the moisture is released.
4The right time to serve the berries is when the sugar shell is partially melted, so that it is thin and close to breaking open. The berries will be lukewarm, juicy, and a bit soft inside. If hard, unripe berries are used, the sugar remains thick and the berries are dry and hard.
To glaze the berries:
1Put sugar and cool water in a small saucepan, preferably unlined copper, and stir just enough to wet the sugar and create a syrup. Then cook over medium to high heat until a candy thermometer registers between 310°-320°F (hard crack). This will take approximately 15 minutes after the mixture comes to a boil. (An unlined copper pan tends to prevent sugar from crystallizing. If unavailable, add 6 to 8 drops of lemon juice to the syrup when it is almost cooked to prevent crystallization.)
2Oil a tray very lightly. If the 12 strawberries are not clean, wash them gently and dry them thoroughly.
3Put the pan containing the boiling hot sugar syrup on a pot holder and tip it to the side to dip strawberries, one at a time, into the hot syrup, making sure that each berry is completely submerged so that it is coated all around. Set coated berries on the oiled tray.
4The sugar will harden around them. Set aside until serving time.
5When ready, adorn the fondant covered brownie waffles with glazed berries and serve immediately.
Waffles: This recipe should make from 2 to 8 waffles depending on the size of your waffle maker. Refer to your waffle manufacturer's instructions for specifics.
Note: Waffle brownies will store well for several days if wrapped in plastic.