It’s so symmetrical, so golden, and so perfectly complimented by cloud berries and homemade vanilla ice cream that I can’t help but stare in admiration, gratitude and lust. I hover closer, still in awe, when suddenly a warm waft of fried butter, dough, and powdered sugar shatters my stupor. My fork forcefully descends. It cuts off an infant sized piece of waffle, dips it into the now melting ice cream and finally adorns it with two cloud berries.
“Holy crap, that’s amazing” I proclaim. I dive in for another taste, this time a proper fork full. The crisp crunch of the first bite propels powdered sugar onto the roof of my mouth. The cool cream blends with the bitter sweet berries and inundates those taste buds in the rear. I swirl my tongue, mixing all three elements until the perfect concoction is prepared, and then swallow with satisfaction.
My eyes beam towards my friend who I had almost forgot existed, “I think this might be the best waffle I’ve ever had,” I say with a grin.
Where Can You Find This Epic Waffle?
From the moment you bow under the early eighteenth century entrance, you just know some special goodness is going on inside. The air is filled with the sweet smell of carrot cake, rhubarb pie, coffee and of course waffles.
The mismatched cups and plates balance precariously on top of each other in total dissaray. The dinning room is straight out of a 1950’s film set, and the pretty cashier with a white scarf covering her hair is ready for the scene.
Everything about this cafe seems to come from another time aside from one anachronism, the electric waffle makers. And thank god for those.
This is the historic Åbacka Cafe, in the university town of Linköping, in Central Sweden.
What Makes This Waffle So Good?
The whole setup looks pretty normal. Two standard scandinavian waffle fryers, a side of butter, and a big bowel of basic looking batter. So what makes this waffle taste so darn good?
To uncover the secret I turned to the mastermind herself, the owner, Fru. Marie-Louise Johannesson.
“I’ve had a lot of waffles and I think you might just make the best waffle in Sweden,” I exclaimed.
Modest as most Swedes are she replied, “Thank you but it’s only a regular Swedish waffle. I got the recipe from a Swedish cook book.”
A bit disappointed by this revelation and refusing to accept that the divine waffle I just inhaled was anything ‘regular,’ I pried further, “but there must be something special about that batter…What’s the secret?”
“Well, I do add something extra…I put a little yeast into the batter.”
So if you’re craving these waffles as much as I am again right now, you have two options. 1) Find a Swedish waffle recipe, fortify it with yeast, make some vanilla ice cream, crush some cloudberries to make a jam and butter up that fryer. 2) Catch the next flight to Stockholm, take a 2 hour train south to Linkoping, and walk along the river until you find Åbacka Cafe nestled in the trees. If I were you, I’d choose the latter.