Rhubarb and custard brown-sugar waffles

This simple, batter-based waffle could be the vehicle for all manner of flavour combinations

Prep 0 h : 45 m
Cook 3 h : 0 m


  • 400g rhubarb (about 1½ bunches), cut into rough 7cm lengths 

    330g raw caster sugar 

    Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean 

    Thinly peeled rind and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange 

    125ml non alcoholic red wine 

    1 cinnamon stick  

    Hazelnut custard

    170g hazelnuts, plus extra, chopped, to serve 

    400ml milk 

    300ml pouring cream 

    Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 

    7 egg yolks 

    165g (3/4 cup) raw caster sugar 

    25g each, plain flour and cornflour 

    300g crème fraiche 

    Brown-sugar waffles

    300g (2 cups) plain flour 

    200g brown sugar 

    2 tsp ground cinnamon 

    2 tsp bicarbonate of soda 

    1 tsp baking powder 

    300ml milk 

    125ml (½ cup) buttermilk, well shaken

    125g butter, melted and cooled 

    2 eggs, separated


  • For hazelnut custard, preheat oven to 180°C.

    Spread hazelnuts on an oven tray and roast, stirring occasionally, until golden, 4-5 mins.

    Cool slightly, then rub off skins with a tea towel.

    Transfer to a saucepan, add milk, cream and vanilla, bring to the simmer over medium heat and set aside to infuse, 30 mins. 

    Transfer to a food processor, pulse until coarsely chopped, strain through a muslin-lined sieve into a jug, pressing firmly on solids to extract all liquid, then return to a clean pan and bring back to the simmer.

    Whisk yolks, sugar, flour and cornflour in a bowl to combine, then pour milk mixture over, whisking continuously. 

    Return to pan, whisk continuously until boiling, then continue to whisk until thick, 3-4 mins. Transfer to a bowl, cover closely with plastic wrap, to prevent a skin forming, and refrigerate until thick and cooled, 1½-2 hours. (Custard will keep refrigerated for 2 days.)

    Just before serving, transfer custard to an electric mixer, add crème fraîche and whisk until smooth and thick, 3-4 mins.

    Preheat oven to 200°C.

    Combine rhubarb in a roasting pan with sugar and vanilla seeds and stir to coat well.

    Spread evenly in pan, add rinds, juices, wine and cinnamon and roast until tender and syrupy, 20-25 mins. Keep warm.

    For brown-sugar waffles, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and a pinch of sea salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre.

    Whisk the milk, buttermilk, melted butter and egg yolks to combine, pour into the well and whisk until smooth.

    Whisk egg whites and a pinch of salt in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form, then fold into batter.

    Preheat a waffle iron to the manufacturer’s instructions, then cook batter, in batches, until browned and crisp, 3-4 mins.

    Serve warm topped with roasted rhubarb, a spoonful of hazelnut custard and chopped hazelnuts.