Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? <—-name that song.
In answer to that rhetorical question, YES, this is real life! And I feel no shame in the game of admitting that I absolutely freaking love a Baked Bean Jaffle. Baked Beans from a can. Bread, white, from the supermarket. Cheese, whatever is in my fridge. Eaten on the couch. Amen.
I can totally see that if this is not something you grew up on, it might seem very strange, and even a little gross. But even before you think that the question you’re probably asking is – what the hell is a jaffle?!
A jaffle you ask? Well that, my friends, is a beautiful and rarefied thing. Notice the distinctive shape of the sandwich in these pictures? The edges are sealed, and the middle is cut, and everything is browned to perfection. The bread forms a protective pocket around the filling, allowing for the crispiest edges and the gooey-est middles.
Sadly, you do need a special piece of equipment to make jaffles. Yup, you’ll need a jaffle maker – which, to me, is an electronic gadget, similar to a waffle maker (pictured below). The joy of jaffles is so great that I feel this would be a wise addition to any batterie de cuisine.
But you can also get a long-handled cast iron version which is meant for use over a camp fire. And I’d hazard a guess that fireside is where the jaffle was born. Oh, and I should add that it’s pronounced with a hard A, like baffle, not a soft one like waffle. JAFF-le.
I love these babies because of straight up nostalgia – we had a massive 4x sandwich jaffle maker when I was a kid – but they have truly never let me down. It’s a rare occasion when you can revisit a childhood favourite and have it be as awesome as it was when you were five.
Seriously, I have mad-love for jaffles. I’m on a crusade to bring a jaffle maker into your house. I’m literally gonna just turn up one day and peer-pressure you into buying one. I will bring samples.
Before I sign off, let me offer some suggestions for other things that are awesome inside a jaffle, if the whole Baked Beans and cheese thing isn’t your speed. Leftover spaghetti bolognese, classic ham, cheese and mustard, mac and cheese, roasted vegetables, nutella, wilted greens, any slow-cooked meats, and basically any leftovers at all.
Jaffles 4 eva!
- 4 slices bread
- softened butter
- 1 small can of baked beans
- cheese, to taste
- black pepper
- Butter the bread on one side. This will be the outside of the sandwich.
- On two of the slices, pile over half the beans, and as much cheese as you like.
- Top with the remaining slices, and then place into a pre-heated jaffle maker, with the buttered slices facing out.
- Cook until golden brown, and the filling is oozing and hot.
- Be careful not to burn your tongue!