Thursday, August 9, 2007

Vwaaaaaah-la!

When Belgian waiters bring your dinner, they place it with a smile and with a drawn out version of the French "voila!" that sounds more like, "Vwaaaaaaaah-la!" with the emphasis on the "la!" It means "Eureka!" and "Enjoy!" in the same word.

Ever since My Beloved and I spent two weeks in Belgium a couple of years ago, we have tried without success to replicate the wonderful warm waffles they sell on every street corner there.

We concocted every recipe we could find on epicurious.com, polled our friends for their favorites, experimented on our own, and always fell short of the yeasty, vanilla-scented, crispy-on-the-outside-but-creamy- on-the-inside waffles we missed from Brussels.

Until a couple of months ago when cousin J-Yah, who lived in Belgium for many years before settling in Petaluma and who loaned us her lovely Belgian house while we were there, brought one more recipe back from a recent trip, along with the pearl sugar that is an important ingredient to the waffles.

This morning, we figured out why Belgian waffles are so good. First, they actually require yeast and rising, rather than just baking powder. Second, they are so incredibly rich with butter (nine tablespoons for about six waffles!) that they actually sizzle on the waffle iron rather than bubble - no sticking fears! Third, the pearl sugar stays crispy in the batter so when you bite into the rich, creamy waffle, it crunches lightly between the teeth.

Vwaaaaa-la! Vive la Belgique!

P.S. Barbara from
Winos and Foodies asked for the recipe for these waffles, so here it is:

Belgian LIEGE Waffle Recipe:

Batter # 1:

1 1/4 oz fresh cake yeast or 2 1/2 pkg. active dry yeast (Note from Zoomie: I used only 1 pkg dry yeast by mistake but it seemed to work just fine);
1/4 cup warm water 100 degrees F;
1 cup all purpose flour (I used unbleached);
1 Tbs granulated sugar;
1 large egg, beaten;
1/3 cup milk, warmed to 100 degrees F;

Batter #2:
9 Tbs unsalted butter, room temperature;
6 Tbs all purpose flour;
1 tsp vanilla extract;
1/4 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp ground cinnamon, optional (Note from Zoomie: I didn't include it);
pinch of salt;
1 Tbs. granulated sugar;
1/2 cup pearl sugar or 3/4 cup crushed sugar cubes (size of sunflower seeds, approx) Pearl sugar can be purchased from Maid of Scandinavia, 3244 Raleigh Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55415-2299. 800.328.6722.:

To prepare Batter #1, dissolve yeast in warm water with 1 Tbs flour and sugar. Let stand 5 minutes until foamy. Sift flour, make a well in the center and add yeast mixture, egg and milk; mix well. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until double or triple in volume.

To make Batter #2, mix butter, flour, salt, vanilla, baking powder, cinnamon, etc. into paste. Add to Batter #1.

Bake in a medium hot waffle iron for 3-4 minutes. Serve warm.

(Note from Zoomie after making them once: My Beloved and I usually like extra butter and maple syrup on waffles but these would truly be better with fresh fruit or a light sprinkling of confectioner's sugar - they are already 'way sweet and rich!)

11 Comments:

Blogger Mouse said...

ah waffles, gauffre here in France and much-loved by Bretons, along with crèpes and galettes and croissants that are made with so much butter that they're positively wicked!
and still the French women are pencil-slim, sigh

Thursday, August 09, 2007  
Blogger Dagny said...

Anything that contains loads of butter sounds good to me.

Thursday, August 09, 2007  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Oh, slurp!

Thursday, August 09, 2007  
Blogger BuzzB said...

I think I know what we will have breakfast over the weekend!

Thursday, August 09, 2007  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Mouse, I read a whole book on how French women do it but, so far, it hasn't helped me... oh, well...

Dagny, I'm with you on the butter issue!

Cookie, right on!

BuzzB, okay, let's call J-Yah but I think next weekend!

Thursday, August 09, 2007  
Blogger Nan said...

Now I'm REALLY in the mood for some butter-laden waffles. Shoot.

Friday, August 10, 2007  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Nan, go for it! Life is short.

Friday, August 10, 2007  
Blogger Barbara said...

Any chance of sharing the recipe with us.

Friday, August 10, 2007  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Barbara, surely, I'm happy to share it! I'll post that today or tomorrow if you'll check back then! Thanks for your visit and your interest!

Saturday, August 11, 2007  
Blogger Barbara said...

Thanks Zoomie. I'll have to save it for next weekend. I've had more than my fare share of calories this weekend.

Saturday, August 11, 2007  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Barbara, yes, it wasn't exactly a low-cal meal! :-)

Saturday, August 11, 2007  

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