Authentic Liege Belgian waffles make a tasty dessert for celebrating a Belgium win during the World Cup!
Before setting out on this adventure to root on Belgium for the World Cup as part of the Multi-Cultural Bloggers World Cup for Kids series, I knew what a Belgian waffle was. But as it turns out, I really had no idea what a Belgian waffle is! I thought a Belgian waffle was a larger waffle with deeper holes usually served with strawberries and whipped cream. As it turns out, true Belgian waffles come in two varieties – Liege Waffles and Brussels Waffles. Brussels waffles are what we know as Belgian waffles in North America. Liege waffles, however, are more of a dessert waffle with lots of sugar, a crisp outside and a tender inside. Liege waffles use yeast for rising and while they do take a while longer to make, they are well worth the wait.
The waffle dough is pretty straightforward. Liege Belgian waffles are made with yeast – but don't be afraid of that if you've never used it. I love baking with yeast and it's easy. Heat your milk just so it's warm – not hot – and the rest is a basic recipe. The waffle dough is not runny at all. It's more like a soft bread dough so it's a little tacky and stretchy. Set the dough aside and come back in about 30 minutes when it's doubled in size.
The special ingredient in liege waffles is pearl sugar. I bought pearl sugar on Amazon – and accidentally got Swedish instead of Belgian. I had never worked with this sugar so I wanted to see what it was like. But I think there is an easier option.
I have a box of sugar in the raw in my pantry so I grabbed that to compare the sugars. I figured that part of the reason to use pearl sugar was the larger crystals. Sugar in the Raw has pretty large crystals, too.
I put the two sugars side by side and I'm fairly confident that you can substitute Sugar in the Raw for the pearl sugar. I used the pearl sugar because I had it. The Sugar in the Raw does look a little smaller, but not by much.
Stir the sugar in to the dough just before cooking the waffles. I had to play around with the amount of dough to use when cooking the waffles. You will not get full, round waffles. I found that keeping the dough in the middle of the waffle maker produced better waffles. I have an Oster Ceramic Waffle Maker, which I absolutely love. The further out the waffle got towards the edge the harder it was to get it to cook without burning the middle of the waffle. I ended up getting 7 waffles out of a single batch.
These waffles are worth the wait for the rise and fancy sugar. They were the best waffles I have ever had! These really are not breakfast waffles, though. They are very sweet and full of sugar but they make a fun dessert. I made one in to ice cream sandwiches for the kids and they keep asking for more. A waffle bar would be fun with these waffles, too!
Don't forget to check out the other blog posts about the World Cup, too!