This is basically an éclair batter cooked in a waffle iron. The waffles cook up a beautiful golden brown on the outside and are so eggy and soft on the inside—I can’t decide whether it’s more like eating an omelet or a popover. Either way, they melt in your mouth. I used to make these at Cousin John’s Café in Park Slope, Brooklyn, which I owned with my cousin Louis. (He named the restaurant after me.) Cousin John’s, which opened in 1986, is still around, and Louis is still serving these waffles. They are made with bread flour instead of all-purpose to give them the necessary structure to support the eggs and cream.
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine 1 cup of the milk, the butter, and salt and bring to a rolling boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat. Add the flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate. Return the pan to low heat and cook, stirring, until the dough comes together in a mass, pulls away from the sides, and leaves a film on the bottom of the pan, 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer the dough to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes to release excess steam. Increase the speed to medium. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until fully incorporated after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Return the mixer to low speed. Beat in the remaining 1/4 cup milk and the 1/2 cup of cream.
Combine the remaining 3/4 cup of cream and the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk or beat with an electric mixer until medium peaks form; cover the whipped cream and refrigerate until ready to serve.
In a small saucepan, heat the syrup over medium heat until warm, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving pitcher.
Heat an 8-inch round Belgian waffle iron. Scoop in half of the batter and spread over the grate. Cook until the steam dissipates and you no longer see steam coming out the sides. Then open and check the waffle: It should be amber-brown with a soft interior. The total cooking time will be 5 to 8 minutes. Repeat with remaining butter.
Serve immediately, with berries, warm syrup, and whipped cream.
Photo: Ben Fink