Rhubarb and custard brown-sugar waffles
This simple, batter-based waffle could be the vehicle for all manner of flavour combinations
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
170g hazelnuts, plus extra, chopped, to serve
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
300g (2 cups) plain flour
200g brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
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.