Or, in English, Waffle Time!
Since we've been living in our current location, our kids have had many occasions to test and taste the various types of waffles to be found in the region and just over the border in Belgium. We have very small and thin waffles that are sandwiched together with a spread of brown sugar or vanilla cream or speculoos inside. We also have the traditional "Belgian Waffle" that you would find at any self-respecting brunch buffet in the US. But regarding this last, the name Belgian Waffle is really quite inaccurate as there are many, many types of waffles in Belgium.
What I have encounted in the US as a Belgium Waffle is really probably closest to the Gaufre de Bruxelles or Brussels Waffle. But did you know that there is also the Gaufre de Namur, the Gaufre de Verviers, de Herve, du Perron, de Tilff, d'Outre-Meuse, à l'ancienne... You're probably getting the point.
I've left one important one out of the above list, simply because it's the one we find the best. It's also probably the one you'd be best off only smelling or at best giving a small lick if you're on any sort of calorie watching diet because it's full of butter and sugar, but oh is the combination so so good. I present la Gaufre de Liège.
Yesterday, I decided to try my hand at making this waffles from scratch for the first time. We have usually in the past only made the Brussels kind, but since I have finally found the correct sugar for the Gaufre de Liège, it was time to give it a go.
The recipe is quite simple and the biggest problem you may have is finding the sucre perlé (see photo). If you can't find this where you live (I got mine in Belgium), then I'm told that breaking up sugar cubes will do the job as well.
If you're interested in trying your hand at these delicacies, I'm giving you the recipe below.
For approximately 20 waffles you will need:
750g fine flour (though I used my regular flour and they came out just fine!)
270g warm milk
70g fresh yeast
3 eggs + 2 egg yolks
pinch of salt
1 tsp of vanilla or 1/2 sachet of vanilla sugar if you have some on hand
400g butter, softened
500g sucre perlé (or chopped up sugar cubes)
Mix all ingredients together except the butter and sugar and let rest 30 minutes. Personally, I let my yeast dissolve in the warm milk before adding this to the flour.
Add softened butter, bit by bit; by kneading it into the dough. I started off by hand as if making bread dough and then when there was enough butter incorporated and my hands and countertop were too greasy to work with any longer, I moved everything back into the bowl and finished adding the butter. Then add your sugar. It won't mix into the batter but rather will stay in lumps throughout.
Divide the batter up into 100g mounds (approximately 1 heaping soupspoon full) and let rest for 15 minutes.
Cook for 3 minutes on preheated waffle iron.
Now, here's what I noticed. As I only made half the batter, this may have been my problem from the start, but when I first mixed the ingredients, the batter was very dry so I added a bit more warm milk. Also, you'll notice once you start adding in the butter that it's very, VERY, buttery! I do wonder if you could use less butter to a similar result so I think this is what I'll try next time.
But in the end, if you follow this recipe, despite the butter overload, you won't be disappointed!