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Belgian Waffle experience

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I wrote back in May, asking for help to relive a wonderful waffle experience I had in Belgium. People kindly responded. I finally made my way out to our local Ikea, and picked up a pack of "pearl sugar" last week.

Today, I tried one of the waffle recipes I collected off this site and off the net back in May, and while it wasn't exactly like the one I had in Belgium (the sugar is *very* visible in the ones I made), they were very good with a sweet and yummy crust.

I took a picture of my results, but I can't figure out how to add it to my post... but here's the recipe I used:

Liege Waffles (Belgian Pearl Sugar Waffles) Recipe #158977
I have not yet had the good fortune to visit Belgium, but I do frequent a lovely NYC cafe called Le Pain Quotidien, which is based in Belgium. I tried their crispy, caramelized Belgian Sugar Waffle, and was instantly in love. If pearled sugar is not available, substitute an equal amount of coarsely crushed sugar cubes. I got this recipe off a Belgian website.
1 (1/4 ounce) package yeast
1/3 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
3 eggs
1 cup softened butter
1 cup pearl sugar

4 servings Change size or US/metric
Change to: servings US Metric

35 minutes 30 mins prep

Mix yeast, water, sugar and salt, and let develop for 15 minutes.
Place flour into a large bowl.
Make a well, pour in yeast mixture, and begin to knead.
Continue to knead, add eggs, one at a time, and add soft butter, 2 tablespoons each addition, mixing well.
Let dough rest in bowl until doubled.
Gently mix in pearl sugar.
Let rest for 15 minutes.
Heat waffle iron.
When hot, butter waffle iron, pour in 3 tablespoons dough per waffle.
Cook for 3-5 minutes, until waffles lightly brown on top.
Serve warm or room temperature.

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  1. Thanks for the recipe. I went to a local Bastille Day celebration on Friday and they had a waffle maker there, wow they smelled good. My first Belgian waffle experience was at the New York World's Fair in the 60s, sponsored by the Belgians, waffles with strawberries and whipped cream.

    1. I tried this recipe today and I felt that there was too much butter. The butter was oozing from the waffles as they were cooking in the waffle maker. Has this happened to anyone? Aside from that though, the waffles were very, very good! I used pearl sugar and it makes such a yummy crust.

      4 Replies
      1. re: ctl98

        Yes, but I thought it was some of the sugar (melted).

        1. re: content

          I think I'm going to try to cut the butter and just use 3/4 cup. What do you think?

          1. re: ctl98

            Sorry - it's been so long since I've made it... please try and let me know how it turns out. I picked up another bag of the pearl sugar when I went to Ikea earlier this year with the intention to make another batch of waffles, but I won't be able to any time soon. :(

            1. re: content

              So I made a batch of Belgian waffles with the last of my Ikea pearl sugar (swedish) with 2 tablespoons less butter and it turned out fine (aka not oozing), but I'm not sure about the tenderness issue. I tend to freeze mine anyhow.

              Now that I know about the difference between Swedish Pearl Sugar and Belgian (thanks to Zeleni's post below), next time I'm hoping to try it with the appropriate Belgian Pearl Sugar. Wegman's is new to our area and I noticed online that they carry it in their stores. Another option is Amazon as they advertise it as an Add-On item for $3.96.

      2. Using 3/4 cup of butter was ok but the waffle was not as tender. One cup is definitely the way to go if you're not going to eat them right away. But if you're going to serve them right after making them, then the 3/4 cup is acceptable. Here are my waffles...I've made 4 batches so far! LOL!

         
        2 Replies
        1. re: ctl98

          Thanks ctl98 for writing up the results of your experiment. :) Hmmm... makes me wonder if I have any waffles left in the freezer...

          1. re: ctl98

            That looks scrumptious! Thanks for the photo and update. I've been lusting for liege waffles since seeing them on RR's $40 a Day episode in Brussels. They showed the process of making them and the sugar crystals looked great.

            Do you use a regular ole waffe iron or something more specialized? Do you think these would work well served as dessert w/ a scoop of vanilla ice cream? I may have to borrow my FIL's waffle iron...

          2. I need to find out I have read all the e-mails on this subject, but answer me this when
            you make a batch of waffles. How many is that? I just love it when you talk like that
            it reminds me of my mother. she has passed away a few years ago and she liked
            one month of being 95. and she use to talk like that. and I just love it. And those waffles
            sound fantastic. I have always been a big waffle and pancake eater.

            1. I use a regular cheap Belgian waffle maker (Salton, $15 CAD). I'm thinking of getting a better one now that I know I can reproduce the Liege waffles. Maybe a 4 waffle one with an adjustable thermostat. One recipe makes about 22-24 waffles.

              I'm sure the waffles would taste great with ice cream! Or whipped cream and some chocolate drizzle.

              Sorry to hear about your mom, bigjim.

              1. where can i find pearl sugar?

                1 Reply
                1. re: sweetdreams

                  Some Ikeas carry it but most Belgian/Norwegian stores should have it.

                2. The Bakers Catalog carries pearl sugar:

                  http://tinyurl.com/26x5te

                  1. I tried it this morning and it was delicious. Reminds me of my Belgian adventures, which was primarily composed of waffles, "French" fries, and lambic beers. I'm vegan, so I used Egg Replacer and it still came out fine.

                    I also got my pearl sugar at Ikea and noticed that the sugar was very visible as well. With some Googling, I found out that I purchased Swedish pearl sugar which is very different than Belgian pearl sugar. The same company produces both! If you look up Belgian pearl sugar, you can find lots of online vendors.

                    1. I am inspired to try these and do have some pearl sugar I bought for some other purpose.

                      But I have one question. I made Belgian waffles once with my new waffle maker and it wasn't as easy as with my regular waffle maker. It seemed like they were not done inside. And if I'm remembering this right they were sticking too which is a problem I never had with my other waffle maker.

                      This is probably kind of obvious but do I just need to turn up the heat?