As far as I’m concerned, I’ve never seen a decent chocolate waffle recipe anywhere ever. The issues with the ones out there are myriad…

Most bakers understand absolutely nothing about fine chocolate. Even for those that get Hershey’s cocoa is garbage, they’re likely to think Scharffen Berger makes the finest chocolate in the world. Names like Soma, Amedei, and Domori  probably wouldn’t even register for them. So when I read chocolate waffle recipes that don’t even refer to the chocolate/cocoa varieties by name, I know the author is probably treating chocolate as a commodity – i.e., there’s nothing serious about them or their recipe.

The second issue, which is even more troubling, is that almost all chocolate waffle recipes use an insane amount of sugar. They’re little more than cake cooked in a waffle iron. Waffle batters and doughs are not supposed to be sweet. Sweet is what goes in them and on them. A fine chocolate waffle recipe should have its sugar content at such a level that the waffle is just barely sweet – enough to be palatable but nowhere close to pronounced enough that it tastes anything like dessert on its own. Too much sugar and the waffle will become limp; waffles must be crisp. Sugar needs to be policed, completely en flique.

The third issue is the timid amount of chocolate so many of them contain. A chocolate waffle should taste richly of chocolate. It should not just be a brown waffle because someone tossed a little cocoa powder in. It should be a deep, earthy brown because there’s a serious amount of cocoa mass present.

The fourth issue is the use of oils vs. butter. I have one oil-based recipe on the site here, and that’s for people who either can’t use butter or for those who want to eliminate the butter because its flavor conflicts with their intended waffle topping. Chocolate and butter go together like hands and gloves; there’s no reason to use oil. We also want to stay rooted in tradition, not drift into the realm of cupcake ingredients.

I think the recipe below is a major step closer to the experience I have in mind. It’s very much at the stage where I’m trying to balance out the flavor and texture and nail down the cook time and temperature. Once that is hammered-out, I may decide to separate the eggs and whip the whites, if density or crispness present any issues. 

Chocolate Waffles

makes 2 round 1/2″ American-style waffles

33.0g Felchlin Maracaibo 49% chocolate
32.0g egg (from an egg heated in a very warm water bath)

Preheat the waffle iron to 182°C/360°F

1. Begin melting the chocolate in a bain marie hot water bath. Set aside.

2. Sift all of the dry ingredients into a small/medium bowl.

3. Add the melted butter, melted chocolate, egg, vanilla and about 60g of the milk to the dry ingredients, and mix to just blend. Then add the remaining milk and finish blending.

4. Pour the mix into the preheated 1/2″ iron and cook for 4 minutes 20 seconds.

Remove the waffle from the iron and place on a wire rack to cool. When the waffle has cooled below 49°C/120°F, place the waffle back into the iron to cook for 10 seconds longer. Serve immediately.