Coco-Mac Waffles with Banana-Jackfruit Rum Sauce

A lot of my recipes are inspired by Filipino and Hawaiian dishes (this is me being Captain Obvious...), and these Coco-Mac Waffles are no exception. I added toasted coconut and macadamia nuts to the waffle batter, and I used apple bananas (sound familiar?!) and fresh jackfruit from the farmers' market to make a buttery rum sauce.

Aside from the recipe, this post is also about my first encounter with breaking down a fresh jackfruit! And it was just a six-pound hunk of jackfruit...No big deal...

Here's how to put a fun, tropical twist on a classic breakfast item!

The dry ingredients for my go-to, basic waffle batter include: all purpose flour, fine sea salt, baking powder, and sugar.

To give the waffles an island twist, I added finely shredded unsweetened coconut that I toasted in a pan. Toasting the coconut brings out all the natural oils and really adds a deeper flavor to the waffles.

For more texture, macadamia nuts make a great addition to otherwise light and airy waffles. Run the macadamia nuts through a food processor first, for a finer texture. That way, there's crunch from the nuts in every bite of the waffle. 

In a separate measuring cup, combine 3/4 of a cup of almond milk, 3 tablespoons of melted butter, 1/2 a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, and 1 large egg. Whisk together to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir until well-blended. (If you don't have almond milk, an equal amount of whole milk works just fine.)

Pour a 1/2 cup of batter into the center of a heated waffle maker. (I used a 7"-wide waffle maker.) Then, close and cook until the waffle is golden and crisp on the outside.

After a couple of minutes, the waffle puffs up so that it's fluffy on the inside, yet it's crisp and toasty on the outside. Transfer the waffles to a wire cooling rack while you prepare the sauce. Using a rack keeps steam from the waffle from making them soggy.

Now, this is the lovely hunk of jackfruit that I bought with my mom at the market. Six pounds of ripe, juicy jackfruit, which tastes like a combination of several tropical fruits. It has hints of pineapple, banana, and lychee.

I really had no idea whatsoever on what I was doing. I was attempting to ask my mom for help, but she was busy talking to her sister on the phone and was just making scooping motions with her hands over and over again...  

So, what I ended up doing was cutting out the round core in the middle of the jackfruit, just like a head of cabbage. When you do this, make sure to cut a good 1/4" - 1/2" out from the core. Trust me...otherwise this will be one big, gummy mess. White, milky sap will leak out from the core and get all over your hands, knife, and jackfruit. (If you do end up with sap on anything, though, rub with vegetable oil.)

Once the core is out (you can see a little bit of the white sap on the tips of the jackfruit on the right), pulling out each little "pod" is pretty easy. You don't want the pale, stringy stuff, but the darker yellow flesh. The pale strings are tough, like the leaves of an artichoke.

In the middle of each jackfruit "pod" is a large brown pit. If you split the pod in half, the seed pops right out. You can save these seeds, though! My mom said that you can roast them, and they'll turn out like cashews. My dad said that you can also boil them, like peanuts.

Finally, you're left with the sweet jackfruit flesh. (I would've had a heaping pile slightly larger than that bowl, but I kept snacking...) Obviously, not every grocery store or market is going to have fresh jackfruit lying around. Your best Plan B would be to look in the frozen foods section or canned fruit aisle of an Asian store.

While shopping, I also saw a couple of stands with apple bananas and immediately pounced on two bunches. I decided to pair them with the jackfruit in the waffle sauce as a play off of Filipino turon. Apple bananas are sweeter, but they also have a distinct tartness in the background. Very tropical, and very much my favorite. (Sometimes, I wonder if I should have just named my blog Bananas & Palm Trees...)

Slice 3-4 apple bananas, and dice 5-6 "pods" of jackfruit. You'll need a heaping cup of each fruit.

(Tip: The rest of the jackfruit can be stored in the refrigerator and used later in pies, turon (duh), halo-halo, or...eaten plain as a snack.)

To start the sauce, melt half of a stick of butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat.

Once the butter is sizzling and the pan is hot, add the bananas and jack fruit. Cook for 1-2 minutes, to get a slight caramelization.

Off the heat, deglaze the pan with spiced rum. I used one of my favorites, Koloa Rum, from Kaua'i. (You might remember this rum from my Zombie Jello Shots.) If you want to omit the booze, vanilla extract and a pinch of cinnamon and cloves are great substitutes. But, come on...doesn't rum just scream, "Island vacation!" And that's essentially what these waffles island vacation on a plate!

Return the pan to the heat, and let the rum reduce for a couple more minutes to let the alcohol cook off. Taste the sauce at this point, and add light brown sugar if needed. The jackfruit and apple bananas that I had were pretty ripe, so I actually didn't even need any extra sugar.

Top each waffle with the Banana-Jackfruit Rum Sauce, and garnish with more toasted coconut and chopped macadamia nuts! I don't really smother my waffles or pancakes in syrup, so this sweet fruit sauce is right up my alley. With Spring's arrival and the Summer months within reach, this is a perfect, tropical treat for the warm and sunny mornings coming up!

Coco-Mac Waffles with Banana-Jackfruit Rum Sauce (makes 4 waffles)

Print Recipe

1 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
2 tsps Baking Powder
2 tbsp White Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup Finely Chopped Macadamia Nuts, toasted
1/4 cup Finely Shredded Unsweetened Coconut, toasted
1 large Egg
3/4 cup Almond Milk, warmed
3 tbsps Unsalted Butter, melted
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
4 tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 cup Sliced Apple Bananas
1 cup Diced Jackfruit

1/4 cup Spiced Rum
Light Brown Sugar, as needed

  1. Pre-heat waffle maker.
  2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the flour, fine sea salt, baking powder, sugar, macadamia nuts, and shredded coconut. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg, then add the almond milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir until blended. 
  3. Pour a 1/2 cup of batter into the heated waffle maker, close, and cook until the waffle is golden and crisp on the outside. Repeat until all of the batter is used.
  4. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter is sizzling, add the sliced bananas and diced jackfruit. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the fruit is slightly caramelized. Off the heat, deglaze the pan with the rum. Return the pan to the heat, and reduce the rum for another 2 minutes. Taste, and depending on the ripeness of the fruit, add light brown sugar as needed.
  5. Serve each waffle with banana-jackfruit rum sauce, and garnish with more toasted coconut and chopped macadamia nuts. Enjoy!