Ever since I bought that really expensive waffle iron, I've been itching to try something else. Don't get me wrong--the Pecan Cookie Waffles are still my favorite; well worth the million dollars that I plan to win with them! ;) I guess I just need to justify the purchase. And why not, if it means warm, crispy, yummy waffles? Besides, I need a short hiatus from the sweet potato recipes (I have three more to share!).
Several weeks ago, I was watching yet another Throwdown with Bobby Flay. This was the one where Bobby was up against the Waffles and Dinges guy in New York. This guy makes a unique waffle called a "Liege" waffle. It is a Belgian waffle, but not like an ordinary Belgian waffle. Typically sold from street vendors, this is a yeasted waffle, all fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside. The really unique thing about them is that they are filled with Belgian pearl sugar that caramelizes on the outside and gives a nice satisfying sweet crunch to the middle. Can we say Yum?!!
Now, I've never had an authenic Liege waffle, so I can not call myself an expert in any way, shape or form. I apologize in advance to any of you who are Liege waffle snobs (I found many opinionated posts about this beloved food). I actually searched for Bobby's recipe, but since he lost this particular challenge, he saw fit not to publish it. Of course the Waffle and Dinges guy's recipe is top secret. So, I simply found a recipe that looked like it was authentic and was, at the same time, easy. Although this recipe is strikingly similar to one that I found on RecipeZaar, I will give credit to Whipped, the blog where I found it These may or may not be authentic, but they certainly are delish!
1 (1/4 ounce) package yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)1/3 cup lukewarm water (about 105 degrees F - too hot will kill the yeast)
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1 cup pearl sugar*
Mix the yeast, water, sugar and salt in a bowl and let it develop or sit for 15 minutes.
Place the flour (and salt) in a separate large mixing bowl (I used the bowl of my kitchen aid stand mixer) and make a well in the center of the flour. Pour the yeast mixture into the well and mix until blended on medium speed (I used the paddle in my kitchen aid mixer).
Add the eggs (one at a time), melted butter a bit at a time, and the vanilla and cinnamon. Be sure to mix well after each addition to the batter. The batter will be thick and very sticky. (this is normal).
I mixed the cinnamon and vanilla in with the melted butter.
The batter seemed thin to me at this point, but once it rose, it was all good. :)
Remove the bowl from the mixer and let the dough rest until it doubles in volume inside the bowl.
Gently fold in the pearl sugar and let the dough rest for 15 more minutes.While the dough is resting, heat the waffle iron. Spoon about a 2" ball of dough into the center of the waffle iron (this should yield a waffle that is about 4" in diameter). Waffles will take 3 to 5 minutes to bake.
I actually found some real Belgian pearl sugar at the Kitchen Window. Yay! One step closer to being authentic!