This recipe is a take on the beloved flavor combination of chocolate and cherries, but with booze thanks to the rum flambeed cherry topping. Flambee refers to lighting the rum on fire, which burns off the alcohol while still imparting a rich flavor into the cherries and syrup. Don’t forget to serve with ice cream for the ultimate waffle sundae!
Make the waffles: Put the milk in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until warm, about 1 minute. Remove 1/2 cup of the warm milk to a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast on top and set aside until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir the cocoa powder into the remaining 1 cup warm milk and set aside 5 minutes.
Whisk the egg, vegetable oil, sugar and vanilla into the cocoa mixture. In a large bowl, whisk the flour and salt, then add the egg-cocoa mixture and the yeast mixture and stir until combined. (It’s OK if there are some lumps.) Fold in the chocolate chips. Cover and set aside until the batter is almost doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 250˚ F. Heat a waffle iron to medium high. Brush with melted butter, then add 2/3 cup to 1 cup batter and cook until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to a baking sheet, then repeat to make more waffles. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven to keep the waffles warm.
Make the flambéed cherries: Combine the cherries, sugar, cinnamon stick, salt and water in a large skillet and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the cherries are softened, 4 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the rum. Return to medium-high heat and carefully tilt the pan to ignite the rum, then swirl the pan until the flame burns out. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the butter and swirl the pan until melted.
Divide the waffles among plates. Top each with a scoop of ice cream, then spoon the cherries and sauce on top.
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Photograph by Mike Garten
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