Saturday, April 11, 2009

Belgian sugar waffle @ home

After the epiphanic discovery of the Belgian sugar waffle at Mr. Crepe in Davis Square, I realized three things:

a) I needed to eat more of them
b) I might not get another opportunity to do so
c) I'd better find a recipe and learn how to make my own.

The authentic Li├Ęge waffle is made with a yeast dough, which means it needs at least an hour to rise, which would require me rising an hour earlier to start breakfast. Um, no.

There are a lot of recipes out there, but as I'm not a seasoned baker (thanks, crappy oven!), I wanted to find something that specifically called for an overnight proofing session, rather than guessing whether it would work.

So I went with
this one (ignore the terrible page layout).

The key to making real proper Belgian sugar waffles is the secret ingredient: pearl sugar. It's essentially regular sugar pressed into larger chunks, so it doesn't melt and burn under high heat. It's also hard to find: IKEA carries it, as do some
online stores.

But that didn't help me: I needed it nownownow!!

So I improvised with crystallized sugar coffee sticks that had been in the back of the cupboard for years. Once I'd collected the sugar, bashed it with a rolling pin and mixed it into the dough, I figured it would work pretty well.



As you can see, the dough is sticky, which made dividing it into single-serve portions a challenge. I quickly realized it was better to go with small dollops so they didn't ooze out of the waffle iron.







So, okay, not as pretty as the Belgian sugar waffles at Mr. Crepe. And I underestimated the Big Sugar quantity, so there weren't quite enough nuggets of sweet crunchiness.

But overall, not bad for a first attempt. And the recipe yielded 12 waffles, which meant enough left over to freeze for subsequent breakfasts.


Just need to find me some real pearl sugar ...

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