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Archive for May 4th, 2020

Liege Waffles

While we were in Spain, we decided to subjected ourselves to a little winter reality-check and travelled to Belgium and Holland. I can hear the gasps but there was good reason and some misplaced trust in our decision:

  1. The first is misplaced trust: the LiePhone weather app said it was 10° C (50° F) more or less. It couldn’t have been further from the truth, it was 2° C to 5° C (35.6° F to 41° C) with heavy winds that made it seem like -5° C (23° F)! And it rained. Like cats and dogs! Unpleasant doesn’t even cut it!
  2. The good reason was that blogger-friend Stefan (of Stefan’s Gourmet blog) lives in Amsterdam and invited us to a gourmet meal in his lovely home. Definitely worth the blistering winds and Arctic temperatures.

There were a few things on our bucket list which included site-seeing and food-eating and we managed some but the weather put a bit of a damper on things. For Amsterdam, Stefan kindly outlined some excellent restaurants (his suggestions were some of the best food in our Northern European adventure) and markets where he focused on ”must-try” delicacies. Unfortunately, we really wimped-out on the open air market delicacies. We managed to walk around the Albert Cuyp Market in teeming rain for 30-minutes but we’re unsuccessful in finding the perfect salted herring sandwich stand (which I still regret). We did buy some lovely cheese to bring home from another market, so that made me happy (although it seriously challenged our carry-on weight restriction).

Since we were going to Amsterdam, we decided to pop into Belgium for a few days because we’ve always wanted to go. First Bruges and lastly Brussels. Of course, there was the Liege Waffle on my bucket list in Belgium. We ate very well, so well in fact, that any time an opportunity arose to sample a Liege Waffle, we were just too full! Deep regret still haunts me. But I was able to further challenge my carry-on weight with the purchase of a bag of Belgium Pearl Sugar!

My history with the Liege Waffle started in June 2016 when I read dear Lorraine’s post (Not Quite Nigella) of Australia’s first Nutella road trip! The recipe was, of course: Liege Waffles! A Liege waffle is made of a brioche dough dotted with Belgian Pearl Sugar; these surprisingly dense, chewy waffles are wrapped in a divinely crunchy, caramelized crust. You had me at chewy and caramelized!

Lorraine’s recipe creates 12 waffles but I really didn’t want such an abundance of temptation in the house, so I cut it to six. Don’t bother making these without Belgian pearl sugar, it’s just not the same. Belgian pearl sugar melts at a very high temperature so it’s perfect for decorating baked goods.

Liege Waffles

Makes 6 waffles

Please click here for the original recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon instant dried yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 30 mL milk, warmed to 110F
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 56 g butter, melted and cooled for a few minutes
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 150-175 g plain all-purpose flour
  • 95 g Belgian pearl sugar
  • 25 g butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the yeast, sugar and milk and allow to sit for about 10 minutes until frothy. Whisk the yeast mixture with the egg, melted butter, honey, vanilla and salt.
  2. Add 150 g flour to the bowl of your stand mixer and add the yeast mixture to it, and knead with the dough hook to combine. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Then continue to knead for 4-5 minutes adding the remaining flour (if necessary) to make a smooth dough if it’s still shaggy (think brioche dough), mine was fine.
  3. Cover and allow to rest in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
  4. Into the dough, knead in 50 g of the Belgian pearl sugar, reserving the remaining sugar to coat the exterior prior to cooking. Divide the dough into six equal pieces, cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  5. To cook, heat your waffle iron when hot brush generously with butter. Slightly flatten each dough ball and dot each round with 1/6th of the remaining pearl sugar. Place flattened dough onto the iron, close and cook for xx minutes or until interior temperature of the waffle is 220° F.
  6. Carefully remove and keep warm. Repeat until you’ve cooked the lot.
  7. To serve, sprinkle icing sugar over the waffles.

Notes:

  • At step 3, you may rest the dough, covered in the refrigerator overnight. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.
  • I cut the Belgian pearl sugar quantity in half and it was pleanty.

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