Little Miss Nibbler (age four years and one week) is learning about hibernation in her kindergarten at the moment. I arrive home to her regaling me with vague tales of slumbering bears and snoozing hedgehogs. I listen patiently, as I've learnt to do, but occasionally my mind wanders, to be filled with fantastical thoughts of spending the winter cocooned under my duvet in a reduced metabolic state. In preparation for this self-imposed lethargy, the body must prepare itself with calories. Lots of calories! Not that I really need the extra insulation, but there is one dish that would fit the bill perfectly: rømmevafler, or Norwegian sour cream waffles. Short of mainlining butter I can't think of a more efficient calorie delivery system, and as a pleasant side effect these waffles are utterly delicious.
Waffles can be found all over Norway and they are eaten like they're going out of fashion, typically as an afternoon treat. There are quite a few different recipes out there, but the two main types are those made with and without sour cream, some even add a touch of cardamom to the batter. Unlike their distant American relative, these waffles are relatively thin (about ⅓-inch thick) and are typically made in waffle irons that produce heart-shaped segments with shallow indentations. However, the real difference is in the batter. Norwegian waffles are richer and slightly denser – all the better for filling you up after a hard day's walking or skiing in the mountains – and sour cream waffles in particular are rib-stickingly good.
Norwegian waffles are typically eaten with brunost (Norwegian brown cheese) or jam, the latter possibly accompanied by some extra sour cream, if what's in the waffles isn't already enough for you. In the photo above you'll see a fork and a knife, however true Norwegians eat their waffles with their hands. You just tear off a segment and fold it in two so the filling doesn't fall out.
I've mentioned before that most of the baking in our household is done by Mrs. Nibbler, and as a true Norwegian she is almost obsessive about baked goods. This version of rømmevafler comes from Mrs. Nibbler's magic book of family recipes, but it's a fairly standard one. These should really be made with Norwegian sour cream (seterrømme), which is quite thick, almost like crème fraîche. But if you can't get hold of some then I've included another equally delicious waffle recipe. Be warned though; one waffle is never enough, but two will leave you in a food-induced coma on the sofa.
Rømmevafler – Ingredients (makes a few waffles)
- 500 ml seterrømme (thick Norwegian sour cream, 35% fat)
- 300 ml plain flour
- 150 ml water
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
Regular Waffles – Ingredients
- 500 ml buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 150 g plain flour
- 50 g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
Method (for both varieties)
- Whisk all the ingredients together until you get a smooth batter and leave to rest for 10 minutes
- Heat up a waffle iron
- Lightly brush the waffle iron with butter
- Using a ladle pour the batter into the waffle iron and leave for 2-3 minutes until they are cooked
- Remove waffle and eat with dollops of strawberry jam, brown cheese, or even maple syrup!
So there you go. If you're after something warm and sweet and cosseting, perhaps after a day spent outdoors, or indeed if you are planning on going into hibernation, then why not give these waffles a try. You won't be disappointed.