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Sunday morning breakfast: liege waffles

February 27, 2011

Hi all!

It is tradition in the Corlett household to have a nice sit-down breakfast on the weekends, particularly on Sunday mornings.  After the hubub of the week, when there is just enough time to scarf down a bowl of boxed cereal, this is a welcome and much-needed change.  Scrambled eggs, bacon, overnight French toast (I love Paula Deen’s “Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup“), and homemade waffles and pancakes are popular items on our regular menu.  We’ve even made frittatas and quiches, but since we have three young children with simple palates, these items don’t make a regular appearance, much to our chagrin.

However, one evening recently when Tim and I were cuddling on the couch watching television, we saw an episode of “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” on the Food Network that had us excited to try something new.  Well, not new per se, but a new variation on something old.  The episode was called “Wafels and Dinges Truck” (watch it here on Hulu) and featured a man named Thomas DeGeest, who owns and operates a Belgian waffle truck in NYC – check out his site here.

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Thomas DeGeest's Wafels and Dinges truck

Bobby’s challenge was to recreate a liege waffle that rivaled that of Thomas, a native Belgian.  It was pretty clear from the start that Thomas would win this one since Bobby had never made a liege waffle in his life and people have been flocking to Thomas’s truck for years.  Still, it was an interesting one for Tim and I had never heard of liege waffles either (check out a brief history on these delicious creations here).

We decided we just had to make these for Sunday breakfast but hit a couple of major roadblocks.

Roadblock #1: In the episode both Thomas and Bobby used pearl sugar to make the waffles.  They both made it clear that without this particular sugar, these waffles simply could not be made properly.  But where to get pearl sugar, something else we had never heard of?

Pearl sugar, up-close and personal!

Never fear, the Internet is here!  I Googled sugar pearls and found a great site called “Sweden’s Best” where I purchased 3-lbs of pearl sugar for $12 plus shipping.  So for less than $20, I had my secret ingredient and was anxiously awaiting its arrival so I could make these beauties.  Thanks to Sweden’s Best’s fabulous customer service, I had my pearl sugar in hand by Friday (I had placed my order the Sunday before, so less than a week!) and was ready to cook.

Roadblock #2: I didn’t have a recipe.  Bobby lost the Throwdown, so as much as I love him, I wasn’t willing to use his recipe for this, especially after all of the trouble I had gone through to get the special ingredient (well, not so much trouble, but you get the idea…).  So back to Google I went and finally hit on a recipe that I was willing to try.

I found a post by a woman whose husband was a chef, and after they had traveled together to Belgium and tasted liege waffles, they set out to recreate them.  After much trial and error, they came up with the “perfect” recipe, so I decided to give it a try.  Here is their recipe and below are pictures of my adventure making these waffles, as well as the final, beautiful result.

I hope you give liege waffles a try because once you do, no other waffle will ever pass your lips again!

(P.S.  To all of my Cranford friends:  if you have ever had a waffle at Rockn’ Joe, those are as close to the liege waffle was you will get around here without a trip to Manhattan.  They used to be great when they served them fresh, but now you can only get them pre-made and wrapped to go – not nearly as good!)

Happy baking!

Christina

The batter as it sat, waiting to double in size.

The batter once it had risen and with pearl sugar added. It is now ready to go into the hot waffle iron!

The plated final product, topped with fresh berries, whipped cream, and a dusting of powdered sugar. Yum!!

An up-close look at the fluffy texture of the liege waffle. Now go and make your own! 🙂

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