I’m willing to bet that every Australian has fond childhood memories of scalding hot cheese burning the roof of their mouth when they couldn’t wait long enough to take a large bite of delicious crunchy bread filled with molten leftovers.
To say that I was ecstatic when I saw that there would be a jaffle challenge on Masterchef this week would be somewhat of an understatement! The thought of piping hot gourmet jaffles had me salivating more than George Calombaris, and wondering how exactly this delightful snack food entered our culinary heritage.
The jaffle iron hit Australian shelves around 1950, and was an immediate sensation. The original design – two curved cast iron plates that clamped together, on a long handle – needed an open flame to create a tasty snack from bread and whatever tasty fillings you desired.
The popularity of the jaffle iron, which spawned spin-off items such as Edgell Bologanaisse (sic) Mince Beef and Spaghetti – 1/11. A New Line for the Jaffle Iron , and even acted as a weapon, was undisputed, and within 20 years of its introduction an enterprising Australian, John O’Brien, created the first electric jaffle iron.
O’Brien, who clearly knew the superiority of a toasted sandwich that was fused together, designed the Breville ‘Snack and Sandwich Maker’ which automatically sealed the fillings in the sandwich, and conveniently cut it for you (helping decades of Australian children avoid cheese-burned fingers). The basic design of the jaffle maker remains the same to this day – and the only true jaffle is a jaffle made in a jaffle iron. Toasted sandwiches don’t make the cut.
Perhaps it is the endless possibility that the jaffle represents that inspires me – and clearly many others. We seem to be in the middle of a jaffle resurgence.
Sweet jaffle? Sure. Savoury jaffle? Most definitely. Breakfast jaffle? Yes! Sunday night dinner jaffle? Can’t wait! Anything, can go inside a jaffle – and as long as it’s ooey and gooey, you’re onto a winner.
Without any further ado, here are some delicious jaffle recipes for you to try at home:
- Apple Pie Jaffle – courtesy of Masterchef contestant Chloe. Thoughts of that butterscotch schnapps sauce are haunting me.
- Four Jaffle Recipes – courtesy of Lorraine at Not Quite Nigella. The garlic bread lasagne jaffle is the thing dreams are made of.
- Bacon, Baked Beans and Cheese Jaffle – courtesy of Feast. You really can’t go past the classics.
So go ahead, make yourself a decadent, cheesy, oozy parcel of piping hot nostalgia. You won’t regret it.
Until next time,