Waffles, Waffles, Waffles!!!
There are three main types of Belgian Waffles. First gaufre de Bruxelles, second gallette, and finally gaufre de Liege. I’ve only tried two of the different kinds, but I’ve been doing my research. A Brussels waffle is rectangular and usually topped with powdered sugar and then whatever topping you want to pay for, ice cream, chocolate, and fruit (no syrup). I haven’t tried one, but apparently they’re lighter than gaufre de Liege. They do have deeper holes than the waffel’s we’re used to.
Gallettes are like waffle cookies. They’re small and round with very, very shallow holes. They’re the mother of waffle cones I think. You mostly buy them at the grocery store, whereas you buy the others either at the grocery store or at waffle stands situated wherever you decide you’re in the mood for a waffle. I had a couple of galletes this morning with chocolate spread. They were yummy.
Finally, the Gaufre de Liege, in other words Liege Waffles. These are by far the most predominant, and for good reason. They’re heavenly! They are nothing like any waffle you can get in our hemisphere. They’re crispy and soft and chewy and sweet and buttery and they have little sugar balls throughout. They average €1,50 each plain and hot, but you can find them cheaper. You can buy packages of them at the grocery store, although they aren’t as good as fresh, they’re still leaps and bounds above even the best Ego waffle you’ve ever had. You can buy the same toppings you put on the Brussels variety. But, unlike any waffle you’ve ever had, it needs nothing. You can eat it completely naked, and people do on far more than a regular basis. (You all know I mean that the waffle is naked, not the eater-of-waffle, although we are an Europe).
Naturally, I want the recipe to these guys, because none of you are ever going to believe how good they are until you can try them. So, I started looking for the recipe. I googled it just like any good wife of an IT graduate, and this is what I found…Lots of people looking for the recipe. However, in addition to all of that, I found a fraternity dedicated to promoting and defending the recipe. (Confrérie de la Gaufre Liégeoise) That’s right. It’s a secret recipe!!
So, I thought, “But how do all the street vendors have the recipe?” So I asked one. It turns out that the waffle franchises have to buy the dough already made. All the waffle makers do is take them out of the freezer and cook them. So, I’ve been looking around for the recipe, and I have found some that come close, but I’m afraid that the rest of you are going to have to come here to try the real thing. Here’s the best recipe we have so far. We want to experiment with a bit less yeast and maybe add a pinch of cinnamon.
1 Kg Farine pour pâtisserie (The closest you can get to that at home is cake flour)
350 g warm milk
100 g fresh yeast (not dried!)
20 g of salt
½ packet of vanilla sugar
500 g melted butter
500 g sucre perlé (Those are the little sugar balls. You can’t get them at home. We’re thinking just break some sugar cubes in smaller pieces, but not that much smaller.)
Prepare the dough with all the ingredients except the butter and sugar.
Let it rise 30 minutes
Work the dough little by little adding the butter.
Add the sugar
Make little balls about 100 g each
Let them rise 15 minutes
Cook them about 3 minutes in a 4 by 7 waffle iron.
So, next time you take a bag of cheerios to church to keep you kids happy, think of us in Belgium where the kids carry waffles instead of cereal. (And I'm not kidding either!)