Friday, January 4, 2013

{ Vanilla Bean Liege Waffles }


Ever heard of Liege Waffles?

No?

How about Belgian Pearl Sugar Waffles?

No?

Never???

Really????

Yeah, me either.

Until a couple months ago when I saw this recipe posted. Soft. Caramely. Crunchy bursts of sugar.

I needed these in my life.

ASAP.

Of course, then came the holidays, and so much to do. I had bought the Pearl Sugar and planned to make them on Christmas Day.

Then I didn't.

After the world calmed down and all peace and order was restored here post holidays, I decided, I MUST make these.

And so, I did.

I did a little research about these delectable lil puffy bites of goodness.

Here is what I found:

The Li├Ęge waffle is a richer, denser, sweeter, and chewier waffle. Native to the greater Wallonia region of Eastern Belgium - and alternately known as gaufres de chasse (hunting waffles) - they're an adaptation of brioche bread dough, featuring chunks of pearl sugar which caramelize on the outside of the waffle when baked. It is the most common type of waffle available in Belgium and prepared in plain, vanilla and cinnamon varieties by street vendors across the nation. Via Wikipedia


I love that this is actually a street vendor treat. According to what my more 'citified' friends are telling me, Liege Waffles are now becoming quite popular with Food Truck vendors. Of course, being in the middle of rural nowhere, I've never even SEEN a food truck.

So, I have to make my own waffles.

Whatever.


Fortunately, it's not hard. Takes a while because the dough has to rise, but, it's not hard at all.
Unlike most waffles, this is not a batter. It is a dough.  This is what it looks like on the iron.


See the vanilla bean?
The white chunks are the pearl sugar. It looks like this:


 They are not really pearl shaped at all. They are more like crystals. Like large salt.


Where do I find this magic sugar you ask?

Specialty stores, natural food stores, and, of course, online.

They sound expensive, right? They really aren't bad. My box (from a specialty store in my area) was under $5.




This is what they look like when they are done. They are beautiful and rustic.
That don't look like no eggo!

Thank goodness.



You can see the sugar pearls here. And the shiny parts? Caramelized sugar.

Yum.


Vanilla bean freckles.


Stack 'em up!


Add some syrup!

Or eat plain! You don't even need it. They are very sweet!

Dig in, they are worth the wait.


Vanilla Bean Liege Waffles
Recipe adapted from Gingerbread Liege Waffles by Darla of Bakingdom

1/3 cup  hot milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 vanilla bean*
2 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoon (or 1 packet) instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Belgian pearl sugar

*you can also use vanilla extract (in place of the vanilla bean) to make regular waffles verses vanilla bean waffles
 
In a medium bowl or measuring cup, heat the milk until it’s hot enough to melt the butter. Stir the butter into the milk, stir until melted. Add the eggs, whisking lightly. Split vanilla bean down the middle, scrap out the caviar. Stir into the milk mixture, set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer with the dough hook attached, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Turn the mixer to low, and slowly add the warm milk mixture in a slow steady stream. Increase speed to medium, beat until the dough barely sticks to the bowl, this will take about about 7 or 8 minutes. Scrape sides as necessary. Lightly oil a bowl, place the dough in there. Cover & allow to rise until double (about 1 hour).

Once doubled, turn on the waffle iron. Knead the pearl sugar into the dough. Set aside to rest while the iron heats.

Divide the dough into 7- 4 ounce pieces. One piece at a time, spread the waffle dough into the hot iron. Cook until golden brown (about 2 to 3 minutes). Let sit for about 1 minute before serving (the melted sugar will be HOT). Serve warm, plain, or with syrup or with other garnish.


Be very careful not to burn yourself : 1. with the hot iron, and 2. with the melted sugar.
Someone MAY have done this. Someone MIGHT possibly have a blister on her thumb.
I have no idea who. *looks around and whistles*
Dang that delicious melty sugar!

PS, don't throw out your vanilla bean pod. Make some Vanilla Sugar!
(yes, the recipe calls for the caviar, but you can use just the pod).





11 comments:

  1. Oh my word, I need that sugar and to make these right now, darn it now off to find the sugar!

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  2. I used to by Belgian Waffles all the time at the mall when I was younger. They're just the best. I like them so much better than regular bland waffles. I've been looking for a good recipe on the Net for a while, so I'll be sure to try this one.

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  3. Sonia, I hope you like them :) They've been a big hit with readers I've heard from!

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  4. Wow thank you for posting! After living in Belgium and eating "Les Gaufres Liegeois", as the Belgians call them, all the time, I have really missed these!! I have never seen pearl sugar sold here so I am going to be on the lookout for it now. Also just wanted to add that a Belgian would probably scoff at the idea of syrup on your waffle. They just don't do that, because they are just to good by themselves :)

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  5. Thanks for the reply!

    I hope you enjoy them.

    I'm with the Belgians. No syrup necessary. My kid likes the syrup though. haha.

    Be sure to check out my friend Darla at Bakingdom.com for more liege waffle recipes :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. never had these before, but ordered the sugar and gave it a try. it didn't rise at all, could have let it sit too long while I was putting it all together, but will remedy that during my next go around. these tasted great! definitely make them again. thanks for the easy recipe and for sharing this pleasure with the rest of us! Merry Christmas!

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  7. I'm sorry to hear they didn't rise, but glad they still tasted good. Was your years fresh?

    This was my boy's request for breakfast today, so we had them for Christmas too!

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  8. yes, yeast was fresh, I made rolls with the same package the next day. we ate all the waffles up! I will give them a second try soon, I have faith in the recipe. I wondered if maybe my liquid cooled too much and didn't warm the yeast? anyway, I will let you know how my next batch turns out, but I really am appreciative for the recipe. I found the sugar on Amazon. :)

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  9. I made these again and still didn't rise.. I was looking at the recipe. Isn't a package of yeast equal to 2 1/4 t? If so, I need to increase my yeast? Will let you know when I try this again :)

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  10. It IS 2 1/4. I'm so sorry. Typos happen, but it always makes me feel bad. I hope you try them again soon.

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  11. Hi Tina, I have been meaning to come back and let you know that I didn't see your post right away, but I did use the 2 1/4 t of yeast and it worked out great. I have made these many times since then and most recently made them for my daughter and her family. They were a big hit! My granddaughter has an egg allergy, but we made them 1/2 their normal size to be sure they would be cooked more thoroughly and she didn't have the slightest reaction. Not to mention that she loved them! Anyway, I wanted to let you know I have written this recipe in my recipe book as a favorite to pass around to my family. I appreciate your direction, as I would never had these if you had not posted this recipe and the pics of the pearl sugar. I usually only use 1/2 of the package per batch I make. Always delicious!

    ReplyDelete

I hope you enjoyed this post! It took both time and love. If you enjoyed it, please take a second to comment or share it. Or both. Yeah, both!! If you didn't like it, please feel free NOT to tell me and make me face High School-esque rejection! Kthx.

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