Of all the things I miss of Hong Kong since moving to NZ, 8 out of 10 things are food related. Some of them I have been able to recreate, like the desserts, claypot rice, combination coffee and tea ‘Yin Yeung’ and appetisers such as barbecue pork and cold cuts. One special dish, has eluded me thus far and that is the Bubble Waffle, also known as eggettes. I needed both the tools and the recipe in order to make it and I have not been able to acquire them until this year. Perhaps this is the reason why everytime I returned to HK I needed to frequent the tiny stall for my Bubble Waffle fix. Luckily this establishment is in my neighbourhood, so I am always close to it should I need to satisfy my craving. It also received an honorary mention in the 2016 Michelin Guide to Hong Kong and Macau so I was fully expecting to see queues and hiked up prices. When I went today, queues were present but prices had not gone up one cent. What a gem!
In case you are wondering what the fuss is all about – after all, aren’t these just plain old waffles? What makes these bubble waffles so special?
- Extra crunchy bite
- Soft waffle centre with an air pocket
- Melted fillings (if you chose one other than the original flavour) and lots of it
I have tried and tested many waffle recipes and this below is the closest I have got to recreating the bubble waffle taste, texture and flavour. I hope you find this authentic enough and will enjoy it.
(The following quantity is sufficient for making quite a few pieces but it really depends on the size of mould that you use and the success rate of making good ones.)
- 120g plain flour
- 24g tapioca starch/ corn starch
- 10g (1 Tbsp) custard powder or cocoa powder
- 5g (1 tsp) baking powder
- 110g eggs (About 2 size 7 eggs)
- 120g caster sugar
- 25ml evaporated milk
- 120ml water
- small quantity of vegetable oil, for greasing the mould
- Optional: brownie bites, chocolate baking bites
- Firstly mix and sift the plain flour, tapioca starch, custard powder and baking powder. Set aside.
- Beat the eggs and mix in sugar using an electric mixer, till sugar has fully dissolved, fluffy and light in colour. (Very important step to ensure the eggettes are crisp. This can take a few minutes). Add in the evaporated milk and water. Mix thoroughly.
- Add the sifted flour mixture (1) into the egg mixture (2) in the mixing bowl. Stir thoroughly until the batter is smooth without any lumps.
- Cover the batter and refrigerate for at least an hour (this also ensures you have crunchy waffle). Give it a stir when it’s time to cook.
- Warm up the cooking mould, and brush a thin layer of oil on each side.
- Add in any fillings you wish to the batter just before you pour onto the mould.
- Pour the batter into the mould, be careful not to overfill, just to the top of each hole. Close the mould and count to 5. Then flip and turn the closed mould over so that the batter fills the other side of the mould. Leave it to cook for 3 minutes and then flip the mould again to cook the other side for a further 1 to 2 minutes until the bubble waffle is cooked.
- Use silicone tongs to remove the waffle from the mould and place it on a cake cooling rack to cool. You can also fold it up slightly so that it curves up. Using a plastic lid or plate, fan the cooked waffle for a minute for extra crispiness.
- Repeat until all of the batter is used up.
Flavour combinations: You can make many other flavours by adding these to the batter:
- Dark chocolate (1 tbsp of cocoa powder and chocolate chips)
- Shredded coconuts
- Black sesame
- Green tea powder
- Red bean (cooked – you can use the canned ones found in Asian grocery stores)
- Chestnut purée or pieces
- Coffee (powder mixed in with batter)
- Mocha (coffee and chocolate)
- Cheese for a savoury twist (grated cheese)
- Taro purée