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Dreaming of Liege Waffles...

  • c

During a recent trip to Brussels, I had this most yummy food experience - a warm waffle topped with passionfruit ice cream. Oh, yum!

This waffle had the most delicious sweet crust that I ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

A search on the web yielded that this was not a Belgian Waffle, as I had assumed it to be, but a Liege Waffle.

Do you have a tried and true Liege Waffle recipe to share which will allow me the sweet crusty taste sensation once again, this time in my own kitchen?

Thank you!

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  1. c
    ChowFun (derek)

    You piqued my interest, and now after a search...and description, I must try one...I found a recipe on the Belgium Tourist Board site...here's the link...it sounds great!
    Scroll down a little on the page.

    Link: http://www.visitbelgium.com/recipes.htm

    10 Replies
    1. re: ChowFun (derek)
      c
      ChowFun (derek)

      Further study revealed that I have a Belgian Cookbook with a very different recipe...I was going to write it for you, but lucky me It was already printed on the web so all I did was cut and paste it...here it is...

      Sugar Waffles from Liege (Luikse Wafels) (Gaufres Liegeoises)

      Batter 1:

      1 1/4 ounces fresh cake yeast or 2 1/2 packages active dry yeast
      1/4 cup warm water (about 100 degrees F)
      1 cup all-purpose flour
      1 tablespoon granulated sugar
      1 large egg, beaten
      1/3 cup milk, warmed to 100 degrees F

      Batter 2:

      9 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
      6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      1/4 teaspoon baking powder
      1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
      pinch of salt
      1 tablespoon granulated sugar
      1/2 cup pearl sugar or 3/4 cup crushed sugar cubes

      Prepare Batter 1: In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm
      water with 1 tbsp. flour and the sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes
      until foamy. Sift the remaining flour into a large mixing bowl.
      Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture, egg and milk.
      Mix well with a wooden spoon to make a smooth batter. Cover with
      a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until the batter has
      doubled or tripled in volume. Meanwhile, prepare Batter 2: In a
      medium-sized bowl, mix the butter, flour, salt, vanilla, baking
      powder, cinnamon (if using), granulated sugar, and pearl sugar into
      a paste.

      With your hands, work Batter 2 into Batter 1 until well mixed.
      Shape the dough into 10 balls, approximately 2 1/2 to 3 ounces
      each. Flatten each ball into a disk and dust lightly with flour.
      Bake in a medium-hot waffle iron. Don't let the iron become too
      hot or the sugar will burn. Bake until the waffles are golden
      brown but still slightly soft, 3-4 minutes. Serve the sugar waffles
      lukewarm or cooled to room temperature on a rack. Sugar waffles
      will keep well for several days in an airtight container, if you
      manage to have any left over.

      These may sound like they're a lot of work, but anyone who's had
      them knows they're well-worth it!! I also recall, when visiting
      Belgium, having Liege Waffles that had been coated with a thin
      coating of that wonderful Belgian bittersweet chocolate. Worth a
      try!

      1. re: ChowFun (derek)

        I assume you speaking of the cult-famed "Everyone Eats Well in Belgium" cookbook, of which I have a copy, and which contains myriad waffle recipes.

        Of course, I am partial to the sublimly simple yeast-raised waffle recipe of Fannie Farmer, which even Marion Cunningham admitted in the centenary edition of the FF cookbook was her single favorite recipe to eat with the redoubtable FF. Once you do that recipe, it's hard to go back to do any other.

        1. re: Karl S
          c
          ChowFun (derek)

          Yup, that's the one...luckilly the recipe was also availble online...it saved me a lot of typing!
          Now I am intrigued by the "FFF" Famous Fanny Farmer recipe for waffles...is it easily shareable?
          Thanks

          1. re: ChowFun (derek)
            c
            Caitlin McGrath

            These are wonderful waffles, cisp outside, super-light inside, and very buttery. Also very easy.

            Link: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/recipes/...

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              The recipe makes 6 waffles in my Waring Pro Belgian waffle maker (5 fluid ounces per waffle), about 360 calories apiece.

              Important tip: please make sure to serve waffles on warmed plates; use a preheated slow oven (like 175-200F). Waffles, like pasta, are among the foods that suffer when one succumbs to the temptation not to use warmed plates; it makes a difference.

              And never stack waffles that are being kept warm in a slow oven.

              1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                c
                ChowFun (derek)

                Thanks for the link Caitlin.....I'll definitely give them a try....
                (I'll try warming the plates as well!)
                One learns so many things on Chowhound!

          2. re: ChowFun (derek)

            This looks like a great recipe. The important thing is that the final batter is not too loose and has chunks of sugar and butter that will melt in the iron...so good.

            1. re: ChowFun (derek)

              Thanks, ChowFun. I found this recipe too, but someone who tried it posted that they tasted good but lacked the sticky sugary crust.

              Does anyone have a recipe that they've tried and which has this crusty sweetness?

              Thanks!

              1. re: ChowFun (derek)

                I've just tried this recipe and it didn't quite come out as expected. The sugar never melted and caramelized for me. The waffles were good, a bit sweet and tasty, but they weren't liege waffles.

                 
                1. re: ChowFun (derek)

                  I just made this recipe and they taste just like the waffles we've eaten in Belgium! (I didn't use the cinnamon) They were *slightly* more yeasty than the ones we had in Belgium, but they may just be an anomaly and it didn't interfere with our enjoyment . I am going to try them again.:-)

                  Edit: I used ChowFun (derek's) recipe

              2. Liège waffle are made with little pellets of sugar mixed into the batter. The sugar caramelizes when the waffle bakes giving it the wonderful; crunch you noted.

                Maid of Scandinavia sells the little pellets. They might have a recipe as well.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Fleur

                  Thanks for the explanation!

                  I read somewhere that Pearl Sugar (pärlsocker) is available at IKEA's Swede Shop. But I can't reach anyone to confirm its availability at the Stoughton store. (has anyone seen it there?)

                  Is there a local source that carries this? (local being Boston and its western suburbs along the Turnpike).

                  Thanks!

                  1. re: content
                    c
                    ChowFun (derek)

                    If you can't find it at a neighborhoodplace, here's a link to it from Vermont...Bakers Catalogue...not far from you....good luck, and please let us know of your experiments!!!

                    Link: http://shop.bakerscatalogue.com/detai...

                    1. re: ChowFun (derek)

                      I remember the sugar pellets in the Liège waffle to be larger than the pearl sugar. Some of them caramelize on the crust, there are others whole in the waffle, a delicious extra treat when you crunch into them.

                      FWIW I found this interesting tidbit in the Austin Chronicle :
                      "Liege waffle, a pastry less common in the States but a street-food staple in Belgium. The Liege batter contains Turbinado sugar, which caramelizes during the cooking process."

                      1. re: Fleur
                        c
                        ChowFun (derek)

                        Yes I read that too...but in one of the OTHER articles it said if you can't Find pearl sugar you can substitute turbinado (or brown sugar) who is correct......I guess I will leave it up to.....YOU ...you had the original...quite a project! but a fun one...even the mistakes will be good!

                        1. re: ChowFun (derek)

                          Thanks for all the responses to my questions. It may take a while, but I'll be sure to post my attempt at Liege Waffles. :)

                    2. re: content
                      c
                      Caitlin McGrath

                      I don't know about the Stoughten store, but I've bought pearl sugar at Ikea before, so it's probably a regularly stocked item.

                  2. I think the kind of waffles you are looking for use pearl sugar to get the sweet crust. Supposedly, pearl sugar is added to the batter to get that crust. The sugar shouldn't be added too long before cooking so it doesn't dissolve.

                    There are two kinds of pearl sugar, Swedish pearl sugar which stays in its granular form and isn't the kind you want, and Belgian pearl sugar which is used I think for these kinds of waffles. A company called Lars makes both kinds.

                    Hope this makes sense and is correct.

                    I think there was a somewhat recent thread that went into a bit of this.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: karykat

                      Here's a link to where you can buy Belgian Pearl Sugar:
                      http://www.culinarydistrict.com/Produ...

                      I have some, but haven't tried any of the Liege waffle recipes yet.

                    2. Zinneken's store opening soon in Harvard square !

                      I've got the chance to taste their waffles during a tasting event they organized in Harvard square and the Sugar waffles (= Liège) were excellent ! As good as the ones you can find in Belgium.

                        1. re: emily

                          We just use regular sugar cubes broken up a bit and they turn out great!

                          My husband grew up visiting family friends who lived in a small village near Liege and spent a lot of time a few years ago searching for a recipe. Here's the one we use - tastes exactly like the ones in Belgium as far as I can tell!

                          Gaufres Liegeoises

                          1 kg flour
                          50g dried yeast
                          500ml warm milk and water, mixed
                          2 eggs
                          500g margarine
                          50g honey
                          10g salt
                          1 drop vanilla essence
                          3 g baking soda
                          600g loaf sugar, broken (we use sugar cubes)
                          50g powdered sugar

                          1. Mix yeast with 800g flour, powdered sugar, eggs, milk and water. Leave to rise for 15 minutes.
                          2. Add margarine, honey, 200g flour, salt, vanilla, and baking soda. Mix to form dough. Leave to rise for 10 minutes.
                          3. Add crushed sugar loaf, divide into roughly 12 balls. Cook in greased waffle iron.

                          We eat some right away and then cook up the rest and freeze them, then just reheat them in the iron or if we're really lazy, the toaster. They freeze really well.

                          They turn out even better since my husband got the type of waffle iron that flips over (like they have at hotels sometimes) so the melted, caramelized sugar that leaked out of the bottom of one waffle ends up on the top of the next one.

                          If you want to make your own sugar lumps, here are directions, but we didn't have much luck with it.

                          1. Take 600g sugar and mix with 1-2 tbsp water.
                          2. Spread on cookie sheet and broil until sugar has been bubbling 1-2 minutes.
                          3. Cool, then break into lumps.

                          1. re: sarahcooks

                            Hi Sarah, 50g dried yeast in your recipe, do you mean fresh yeast or active dry instant yeast?