I hate to say this but that title goes to a gift that I received one Christmas from my sister (sorry!). It's not that it doesn't do it's job, it's just that it's all a bit too fussy. The gadget in question is a Waffle Maker.
The first problem was actually finding it! Once located the next challenge was finding a waffle recipe. I seem to recall that one of my main problems with the waffle maker was actually trying to get the waffles to come out all even and perfect, like you'd see on the cover of it's manual. I don't know, it didn't matter how I tried doing it, batter would just seem to leech out over the sides - and if it didn't do that then bits would be missing from the waffle edges making it all uneven. If you're a tiny bit of a perfectionist then this machine is your torture device.
Now with a few more years cooking knowledge under my belt I've decided to approach it via another type of waffle recipe. This is from the Family Circle book Pancakes, Pikelets, Crepes and Waffles.
It's a really simple mix of flour, sugar, eggs and ricotta - I really liked the idea of using ricotta. Unlike other recipes I didn't need to whipping butter or having it sit overnight. A simple 30 minute rest and it was ready to use. I must admit, the waffles didn't turn out half bad, if I do say so myself.
185 grams self-raising flour
2 tablespoons sugar
30 grams melted butter
125 grams fresh ricotta
1 cup milk
Sift the flour and sugar into a bowl.
Break the eggs into a jug, adding the milk, ricotta and melted butter. Whisk together until combined then pour into the dry ingredients. Continue whisking until the mixture is amalgamated - it will be slightly lumpy due to the ricotta, this is fine. Resist the urge to whisk until smooth.
Let this sit a half hour before using.
Heat up the waffle maker - brush the plates with butter, then pour in 1/2 cup of waffle batter. Smooth it out so it reaches the edges and is roughly level.
Close and cook.
When done, place on wire racks (if you want to eat them later) or keep them warm in the oven while you cook the remaining mixture.
After this experience I think I might just be using that waffle maker a little more frequently - it's very hard to resist a stack of waffles when they look like this