Monday, June 27, 2011
Belgian Liege Waffles
Anyhow, the hubs ordered a belgian waffle and when it arrived, although it looked delicious, he was slightly bummed by the size of it. Well, he took one bite, and mumbled the words “holy cow” with a full mouth! He quickly offered a bite to me saying, “You have GOT to try this!” WOW. It was the sweetest, richest, most delicious thing I’d ever tasted! It was oddly light and dense at the same time (not exactly sure how they do that!). There was this crispy pearlized sugar that caramelized on the outside: Out. Of. This. World.
I had a flashback to an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay (Waffle edition) that I saw a few months earlier and knew these HAD to be the ‘Liege’ waffles that they spoke of in the episode. I remember them looking SO delicious but had no idea that they would taste THAT different from what I know to be a ’waffle’.
Apparently there are numerous types of waffles in Belgium, but the two most popular are the Belgian ‘Brussels’ waffle (what we here in the US associate with belgian waffles), and the ‘Liege’ waffle. The Belgian Brussels variety are generally thought of as light, thick, and crisp. The Liege on the other hand are dense rich and crisp on the outside with a chewier center. They are UH-mazing.
I came back from DC on a mission to re-create these babies. I did my research and found out that every good recipe for Liege waffles required something called ”Belgian Pearlized Sugar.” I knew I HAD to get my hands on some of it! I checked THREE stores and came up wempty handed. So I put my mom (aka: the detective) on it and of course she found out where to buy it (she’s good like that)! She ordered some for me on Amazon (thanks mom!)… and I couldn’t wait for it to arrive!
Once they did, I whipped these babies up. They did NOT disappoint! INCREDIBLE.
Belgian Liege Waffles
Yield: 8 waffles
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 2-3 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
1 packet instant active yeast
3/4 cup milk, warmed
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 oz belgian pearl sugar
Drizzle of Agave Nectar (or a sprinkle sugar)
Warm milk in microwave for 15-20 seconds (until warm to touch - not hot). Dissolve the yeast into the warm milk. In stand mixer with dough attachment, add the flour and salt and mix together slightly. Add the milk/yeast mixture, butter, and eggs. Combine well. Lastly mix in the vanilla (optional). Scrape batter into a bowl (making sure dough is fully incorporated), cover and allow to rest and rise for 30 minutes. Note: dough is pretty sticky (don't worry!).
Preheat Belgian Waffle Iron and spray with non-stick cooking spray. When ready to cook waffles, fold 8 ounces of pearl sugar into the dough-like batter. Scoop out heaping 1/3 cups of the batter into the middle of the waffle iron, close, and cook until lightly golden (about 2-3 minutes per waffle).
Dust waffles with powdered sugar and top with toppings of choice. I mixed fresh berries with a a drizzle of agave nectar (may substitute a sprinkle of sugar for the agave). Perfection.