My first experience with a liege waffle from Belgium was on a train from Kolm, Germany to Brussels in 2002.
It was memorable because I wanted to try a true Belgium waffle. Unfortunately, the waffle was prewrapped and possibly created for the purpose of a long shelf life. Secondly, it was sold by a overly ripe and fragrant French teen despite his very tidy appearance. Despite everything against the experience, I enjoyed the waffle snack very much. If I had my druthers, I would chose that waffle over a Twinkie any day.
Liege waffle from The Waffle Station in Los Angeles 2006.
Fast forward to 2006 in Los Angeles. Specifically The Waffle Station at the Howard Hughes Center. My infatuation was complete. I must search for a recipe an authentic gaufres de liege recipe.
After some research, the key to cracking the recipe is the sugar. Pearl sugar is needed to create the almost crunchy, carmelized sweetness. IKEA sells Lars Own Imported Swedish Pearl Sugar. An alternative besides ordering it online or going to IKEA is to crush sugar cubes until coarse.
The rest of the recipe is relatively simple with the addition of yeast, flour, warm milk and eggs. The waffles once placed in the waffle iron don’t cover the entire plate and finish asymetrical due to the dense dough.
No additional sweetners are needed based on my preference and the waffles store nicely in the refrigerator for several days for an impromptu snack or breakfast on the go. The waffles are still not exactly how I remembered it. The waffle seems overly doughy due to the yeast and the recipe could use some tweaking. For that a trip back to Brussels is necessary. But that is something I’m not opposed to doing.
Recipe included on the comments page.
Gaufres de liege (sugar waffles)From the Boston GlobeServes 4SPONGE1 1/4 ounces fresh cake yeast or 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast1 1/3 cups warm milk1 3/4 cups flour1 tablespoon granulated sugar1 egg, beaten to mix1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the milk. Add 1 tablespoon of flour and the sugar; set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy.2. Sift the remaining flour into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture and egg. With a wooden spoon, stir well to make a smooth batter.3. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place for 2 hours to rise until the batter has doubled or tripled in bulk.BATTER9 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature1/4 cup flour1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/4 teaspoon baking powderPinch of salt2 tablespoons granulated sugar3/4 cup pearl sugar (see above)Extra flour (for sprinkling)1. In a bowl with a wooden spoon, work the butter, flour, vanilla, baking powder, salt, granulated sugar, and pearl sugar into a paste.2. Work the butter mixture into the sponge mixture until well combined. Cover, and set aside for 10 minutes.3. With floured hands, shape the dough into 10 balls. Flatten one slightly and dust it with flour. (If the dough seems too wet to handle, that's OK. Pour the batter directly onto the waffle iron.)4. Heat a waffle iron until medium hot. Place a flattened ball in the middle of the iron; close the top. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. If the waffle iron is too hot, the sugar will burn. Some electric waffle irons bake on such a high temperature, it may be necessary to unplug the waffle iron intermittently to cool it off. Continue baking until all the waffles are done. Adapted from Mr. Crepe
Oh! I must try next weekend!Hope all is well…see ya soon!
This is quite a yummy entry! Great photos too. We'll be getting out our waffle iron this weekend.
Photogirl, Mrs. Wong –I highly recommend these waffles if you have some free time. They make great snacks if you make more than is needed for breakfast. I like eating them in the afternoon. Sometimes with vanilla ice cream!
Yum! I have never eaten a waffle in Belgium, but there is an amazing sugar waffle at Le Pain Quotiedien (SP???). There is one near my apt in Brentwood, and I go there for that fix often.
Hi Foodette–I've heard of that place! Next time I'm in Los Angeles I'll stop by and try a sugar waffle as a snack. Maybe even a few to go… Thanks for the recommendation!