I can’t remember where it was, but I had a waffle somewhere and it was one of the most delicious waffles I’ve ever had. A few years later, I convinced my parents to buy a waffle maker, but it was one of those heart shaped waffle ones, that is a pain in the ass to clean.
(Sorry for the bad picture quality.)
The waffles were good, and I managed to make a semi-decent vegan version of them, but they weren’t the waffles I had been dreaming about. It only took about ten years before I found out that there are different types of waffles, and the ones that I had fallen in love with are called Liege waffles. If you Google for it, you get probably the most complex waffle recipe I’ve ever seen. I have spent a lot of time looking for a waffle iron to make waffles like that, and I finally found one, thanks to one of my co-workers: the Breville Smart Waffle. The only ingredient I was missing was Belgian pearl sugar, which is what gives the Liege waffle that awesome crunchy sweet caramel taste, but not something that’s easy to get around here.
Baker Bettie came up with a good workaround: crushing up sugar cubes. So now I have my waffle maker, I have my makeshift Belgian pearl sugar, nothing left to stand in my way!
(Actually, I don’t have a mallet, so making this was also a huge pain in the ass.)
Right from the start, I messed up. I read the recipe which said milk and water at 100-110 degrees. Naturally, I assumed that was Celcius, even though water doesn’t normally go above 100 (sigh, this is why I shouldn’t cook while sick), so I chucked my yeast into the super hot milk and water. I don’t know how much of the yeast survived, but I doubt there was much of it. I didn’t realise this error until later though, when I noticed my dough wasn’t rising, so on I continued. Oh, by the way, I made a dairy-free version of this, so that might also have affected things, as MrFodder says yeast works better in regular milk, rather than coconut milk. I also made a double batch, as I planned to give some to my parents. One of the comments said that they did it with the yeast needed for one batch, so that’s what I did, too.
I didn’t notice any rising, and lacking a stand mixer, I tried mixing it together with a hand mixer. It did not go so well…
That’s my crappy $20 Kmart hand mixer (which I don’t think is crappy at all, it has done pretty well for me so far), and it just couldn’t handle the amount of dough. The dough also kept getting clogged up on one side. So in the end, I just mixed it by hand with a silicone spatula, then used the hand mixer to mix sections which I slowly moved into another bowl until it all was mixed.
Did all the fridgey stuff, left it overnight to rest, and mixed in the “pearl sugar” in the morning.
Fired up the waffle maker. I was a bit worried, as the waffle maker has a non-stick coating, and I thought maybe the sugar would burn and ruin it, but someone recommended using the waffle maker on the Belgian waffle setting with the darkness set to 4, so that’s what I did and crossed my fingers hoping it wouldn’t be too bad.
The smell coming out of the waffle maker was pretty good! And after the timer started beeping, I lifted the lid and the result was very nice. Unfortunately, the sugar leaves behind a mess in the machine.
I did two sets of waffles between cleaning it, as I didn’t want burned sugar on my latter waffles. Cleaning it was also a pain, as I didn’t want to scratch the coating. Cleaning the top half was easy, just wipe it down with a cloth while it’s still warm-ish. Getting the cararmelised sugar out of the bottom was tough! The best way I found was to fill it with water, turn the waffle maker back on, and let the sugar dissolve into the water, and slowly wipe away any bits that you can. I swear it took me longer to clean the machine than it did to cook the waffles!
Despite the massive amount of work that went into it, I’m happy with the results. I made this one with egg in it, as I didn’t want to play with the recipe too much for my first try. It was nice and crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside.
I might have made my chunks of sugar a bit too big, as sometimes you bite into it and bite into a massive chunk of sugar. I’m not sure if that’s how it’s intended. I’m also thinking about changing it a bit, and just coating the ball with sugar before cooking it, so you still get that sweet sugary layer, but without the pain of making “pearl sugar”.
A very successful continuation of the blossoming Fodder household Sunday waffle tradition.