Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
After dinner, it was time to do our first attempt on making stroopwafels. I took one of the recipes from the Internet and divided everything by two. For the three eggs, I was wondering whether I should take 1 or 2 eggs. I decided on 2. Luigi measured and put the ingredients in our breadmaker. We took the butter from the fridge and cut it into pieces, but with cold butter, it took quite a while to make a smooth dough.
Once the dough was smooth, I found out that it was way too soft. We had started off with 300gr flour, but with two eggs, the dough became t0o soft, so I started adding flour, 10 grams at the time. In the end, I added 180gr, to a total of 480gr flour to get a smooth solid ball of dough. It was very fatty, but easy to handle.
Our first stroopwafel
\nWell to be honest, it didn”t turn out to be a stroopwafel, but just a butter cookie. It was the right color, but it was solid. No way, we could cut the cookie in half, i.e. split the top and the bottom of the cookie. Also the size was too small, so we figured out that we needed at least double the amount of dough for each waffle. Stroopwafel number 2 and 3 were bigger but the same. Then I decided to reduce the time in the waffle maker and also reduce the temperature from 200 to 180. Things started to go better.\n\nThe fourth waffle was easy to split and from then on, things were looking upwards. We spread the syrup with ease and the result started looking like a real stroopwafel. We baked one waffle at the time and the baking time was 45 seconds.\n\nAfter about 20 stroopwafels, we increased our productivity by putting two waffles at the time, which went still quite well. Professionals are doing 4 stroopwafels in one go, so we still have to learn something.\n\nOverall the dough was very fatty. After we baked all the waffles, we noticed that butter had been dripping down from the side of the waffle maker, so perhaps we can add less butter and more milk next time.\n
\nThe recipe was not very clear on how much cinnamon to put in the dough, but the cinnamon taste was very light. Next time, I will add more cinnamon, so that at least the dough will have a slightly tanned color from the cinnamon.\n
\nFor the syrup, our only ingredients were brown sugar, cane sugar and butter. I boiled the syrup for about 20 minutes and all the sugar was melted. Our stroopwafels were rather crumby, but they tasted quite Okay. We later found out that the syrup did not cool down as syrup, but more like crystallized sugar. We only found out the next day, when we looked at our leftover of the syrup in the pan. The syrup had all crystallized into a solid block. So the result was that we actually had crystallized sugar waffles, instead of syrup waffles. The look was okay, but you really missed the chewy sensation of a real stroopwafel.\n
\nCutting or splitting the hot cookie in half, requires some skill and fireproof fingers. Professional bakers usually cut the cookie with a round form, so that the baking edges are cut off. I can imagine that it will be easier to cut them apart then. We simply split the cookie as it came out of the waffle maker, without cutting the edges. My son Luigi tried one cookie, but gave up immediately. It was simply to hot for his delicate fingers.\nWhile I am typing this, I still can feel my fingertip burning… I guess I will get used to it.\n
\nOverall the cookie was quite crumby. First we thought the dough was not good, but later we found out that our syrup was cristalizing. Anyway, the dripping of butter from the waffle iron, makes me wonder, whether it might not be better to use a bit less butter and a bit more milk.\n
Butter and the price per cookie
\nAnother consideration is the price. The price of butter here in Japan is outrageously expensive. It is about US$18 per kilo, and if you buy in bulk, you can get it for about US$16. In Holland, I found out that the price of butter is about US$6 per kilo, which means a third of the price. I calculated that 70% of my cookie price, is the price of butter… So the cost for each waffle was about 15 ct. or ¥15. When I asked a professional stroopwafel baker in Holland, they told me that their ingredient price is about €0.04, which is about a third of the price.\n\nI was wondering why the butter is so expensive in Japan, so I looked up the import duties for butter. It turns out to be 35% tax plus ¥1,157 per kilo tarrif. No wonder butter is so expensive. I checked whether there is a way around it, but all imported food products are taxed on milk fat, so even importing cookies or dough has an enormously high tax per kilo.’