Saturday, March 14, 2009

When in Belgium Part Twee – The Liège Waffle

OK, ever since the original post regarding the confusion of the Brussels “Belgian” Waffle, I have been itching to make Liège waffles. I have wanted to do this for years, but have never been able to find Pearl Sugar. Granted I could order it over the net, but I hate paying shipping and handling on baking ingredients, Vanilla beans are one thing, Sugar is quite a bit heavier.

Recently, while hunting for Demerera Sugar, I was lucky enough to find some, quite by accident. I have since heard that it may be found in some U.S. IKEA stores as well, although I have never seen it at the San Diego IKEA.

So without further yip yappin. Here is the illustrious Liège Waffle of Belgium (or Liège the other Belgian Waffle).

Gaufre de Liège

3 2/3 Cups AP Flour
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 1/2 TB Granulated Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 pkg Active Dry Yeast
1 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter
6 ½ oz Sparkling Mineral Water (I know, kind of odd, huh?)
1 1/4 cup Pearl or Nib Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

For serving:
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 -2 TB Favorite liqueur (I used Nocello)

Allow eggs and sparkling water to come up to room temperature first.
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, then make a well in the middle.

Melt the butter over hot water or in the microwave then allow to cool to lukewarm. (about 110)

Beat the eggs in another bowl, then add butter whisking to combine.

Sprinkle yeast over the top and whisk well.

Then add the sparkling water and whisk again.
Add the entire mixture to the flour along with the granulated sugar and vanilla extract.

Beat the dough for at least ten minutes. (I used the dough hooks to my hand mixer)

It will start out kind curdled looking, but will stiffen and become a slightly sticky brioche-ish type dough.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 60 – 90 minutes. (I have a gas oven with a pilot light, so I use that)

Begin heating the waffle iron and add the Pearl Sugar to the dough.

Fold it in, actually, you kind of knead it in... Like I said, the dough is kind of in between a batter and a dough (like Brioche)

Drop by heaping 1/8th cup (About 3 TB) onto each quarter or section of the waffle iron (Mine is a double square, please adjust for round irons by dropping 1/4 cup in the center of the iron) and bake until well browned.

Serve hot off the iron, dusted with confectioner's sugar, or top with UNsweetened liqueured whipped cream. (I like the nut Liqueurs like Nocello, Frangelico, & Amaretto) Sprinkle with berries or nuts or both.

All I can say is WOW! I am ecstatic I found that sugar and I am SO glad that I held onto that recipe for 7 years... It was worth the wait!!! The texture is impossible to describe, the flavor is divine, kind of a caramel, but not quite... Absolutely delicious!!!! I will be making pearl sugar part of my standard dry pantry from now on.


Waffle Iron on Foodista


Spryte said...

Those look great!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I think your blog looks amazing, and your your preparation photos as well as detailed instructions are really helpful and informative.
Your sense of humor comes through as well which makes for a great read.

continued luck :-)

Anonymous said...

looks really yummy - will try out your recipe. thanks for sharing it.

Letha said...

Do you think there's any way to make these with no dairy? Eggs are fine, but do you think I could replace the milk with rice milk and butter with a high quality shortning or something? I'm dying to make these, but don't want to mess it up because I only have a little bit of Belgian Sugar :)

Shane T. Wingerd said...

Thank you for visiting.. :) You should be able to replace the Butter with Butter flavored shortening, although they may take a little longer to brown, since shortening doesn't brown as well as butter does. As for the milk, you can serve them with a sprinkle of powdered sugar instead of the whipped cream if you like.

oregoncoastgirl said...

Demerera Sugar can be found @ Barbur World Foods.

DutchBakerGirl said...

Now I find your recipe--after I made mine! You know, I think I did run across this a few weeks ago, after I found my sugar...I am getting old. Ah well, the thing that is different is the addition of water. I'll try your version next time....

Ninette said...

I read your Brussels and liege waffle posts with great interest. Very informative. Thank you!

Tomás Dietz ( said...

Oh yuuuum!

This end product looks just like the addictive waffles I had in Spain which I assumed were Liege waffles. But I do recall the batter in Spain was firmer (a dough) - the waffle girls would shape the dough into balls then drop the balls on the waffles irons. I remember the crunchy sugar pearls inside. Drool.

Can you explain what I saw, and perhaps offer a recipe? For me a dough would be easier to handle than batter.

Cheers mate.

Shane T. Wingerd said...

Tomás - This recipe produces a fairly stiff dough. You actually have to knead the sugar into it because of it's texture. I did not refrigerate the dough after the last rise in the warm oven. I simply folded in the sugar and started baking them. If you chill the dough (the step I skipped) it will be stiff enough to roll into balls. If in doubt, you can add an additional 1/3 cup of flour to this recipe as well.

On a side note, I settled for Swedish Pearl Sugar when I made these because that was the closest thing to Belgian Sugar I could find at the time. I have made them several times now, with the Belgian Sugar because Zupan's Market in Portland carries it. It comes in significantly larger chunks, as I am sure you know from you experience with these waffles in Spain. I highly recommend going with the Belgian sugar, if you can find it. The Swedish Pearls are delicious, but the Belgian Sugar is awesome! Good Luck!


Tomás Dietz ( said...

Shane, you are awesome. We are not worthy :)