For many of us, waffles made a key part of our childhood. We will always fondly remember our mothers or grandmothers (or even fathers!) preparing this tasty dessert for breakfast.
While they’re not particularly nutritious, waffles are easy on the taste buds, and they’re also easy to make. All you need is the right waffle maker and a couple of simple ingredients like flour, milk and eggs, and you’re all set with a traditional breakfast that leaves you feeling full and ready to conquer the world.
Belgian waffles and how to make them
If you went to Belgium and asked for ‘Belgian waffles’, you might get a surprised look back. The name of our favorite waffles doesn’t come from the country’s special way of preparing the food, but rather a historic event – they were brought to America by a Belgian way back in the early 60s.
Making tasty waffles doesn’t require too much culinary aptitude, which is part of the reason behind their widespread popularity. Still, there are some things to keep in mind if you’d like your waffles tasting well: crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, instead of the other way around.
The first thing you’ll need is the correct recipe. For such a simple dish, there’s a surprising amount of variations out there.
A general Belgian Waffle recipe consists of:
- 2 cups of flour
- 3-4 teaspoons of baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1-2 cups of milk
- Anywhere from one fourth to a whole cup of sugar
- A pinch of salt
As you might have imagined, the batter is what’s most important and will largely dictate the taste of your Belgian waffles. There are multiple variations: some people use less sugar while others make super-sweet waffles, some add extras like vanilla extract to add to the taste, and so on.
If you’re new to the whole waffle-making thing, start with a simple batter before adding anything fancy. Adding one thing at a time (aside from the essentials) will let you come up with a mixture that creates waffles that are most to your liking.
As important as batter is, having the right waffle maker is right up there for anyone looking to make some quality breakfast. The waffle maker you will use depends on your means and the size of your family – feeding many hungry mouths can quickly turn waffle baking into a chore. If your household consists of many family members with various levels of appetite, aim to get a large waffle maker that will minimize the amount of work done and allow you to serve quickly.
Don’t forget the finishing touches, either – plain waffles are good on their own, but it’s the tiny details that are added once they’re fried that turn them into small masterpieces. Here is where you can experiment most: start with confectioner’s sugar and move on to more complex additions like whipped cream, fruit or chocolate topping. The bravest waffle cooks even add stuff like ice cream to the finished product – while this will fill the kids with joy, it might be more sugar than some can handle.
According to the legend, the Liege waffle (from the city of Liege, eastern Belgium) was invented by a cook of the Prince-Bishop of Liege in the 18 Th century. The Prince-Bishop had asked for a pastry filled with big pieces of pearl sugar. The cook then tried to bake in a waffle maker, a brioche type pastry with pearl sugar blended in the dough. During baking, the smell of the vanilla delighted the Prince and this waffle recipe joined quickly the culinary traditions in Liege and took the Belgium kingdom by storm.
The Liege waffle is a waffle usually bought and eaten warm on the street. They are usually freshly made in small shops. They are smaller, sweeter and denser than “Belgian waffles” and have a caramelized sugar coating on the outside, giving them a lightly sweet flavour. Most are served plain, but some are vanilla or cinnamon flavoured, and can be served with toppings like fruits, creams, and chocolate.