Belgian waffles have always been a dessert menu star. Waffles alone are a phenomenon. A lot of us love the grid probably out of human curiosity and amazement. It’s amazing how such a precise and basically intricate iron-cooking tool was ever made. Too add “Belgian” to the already delightful waffle makes it even more enticing.
I must admit that learned about Belgian waffles from Starbucks. Starbucks has Belgian waffles on display at their counter and when you order it, they add whipped cream and caramel sauce. Their Belgian waffle was light, fluffy and perfectly sweet. Each bite had this crunch that no other waffle had. We’re fans of texture here so that experience is so pleasurable.
What makes Belgian Waffles different?
Waffles are great. PERIOD. To have different kinds of waffles is so special. The Belgian waffle is a separate entity on its own.
What makes this special waffle different from the usual breakfast food is the size of the grid. Belgian waffles are deeper and have wider pockets. These features are so kind to the human race because it allows for anything we want on the waffle to sit pretty and get trapped in these pockets.
Belgian waffles are also typically made with a yeast mixture but you can use the good old trick of separating egg yolks from the whites and using the whites to help rise the dough in the waffle maker. This creates almost a chiffon-like but crisp texture for the Belgian waffle.
There is one particular treat that the Belgian waffle has that no other waffle does. It’s the presence of the Belgian pearl sugar. The presence of the pearl sugar creates an enjoyable sugar crunch to your every bite of the Belgian waffle.
Can I make Belgian waffles with a pancake mix?
The unfortunate answer is no.
Waffles require a certain rise and caramelizing that pancakes do not. Although bot recipes require mostly the same ingredients, there is a different in the amount of the ingredients.
Belgian waffles are traditionally made with yeast. That is one off the list. However, you can make Belgian waffles now with a chemical leavening agent and eggs.
To make waffles nice, crisp, fluffy and airy, you must take into consideration the way the eggs will be mixed in. You must separate the yolk from the whites because the whites will serve as another leavening agent. If you whisk egg whites vigorously until medium-stiff peak and you fold it in the waffle batter, the air within the whites will work together with the leavening agent in making the waffle rise as heat is applied. This is the same rule as when you make chiffon cake.
The amount of sugar in a waffle mixture is also higher compared to the pancake. The presence of sugar will allow the waffle to crisp up in the waffle maker, working with the egg whites. It’s like making a meringue or Sans Rival or the French macaron.
What is the difference between Swedish and Belgian pearl sugar?
Pearl sugar is a specialty sugar popular in Europe. Sugar crystals are compressed to make larger sugar bits.
The difference between Swedish and Belgian pearl sugar is that Swedish pearl sugar is smaller than the Belgian one. Swedish pearl sugar is used more for toppings in pastries with muffins, cupcakes, doughnuts, etc. Belgian pearl sugar is slightly larger and can be used to incorporate in mixtures. It is mostly used to make Liege Belgian Waffles.
Can I replace the Belgian pearl sugar?
Belgian pearl sugar is not widely available in regular supermarkets. They are mostly found in specialty stores. If you cannot find Belgian pearl sugars, you can easily make your own!
To make your own Belgian pearl sugar, you can use sugar cubes. Simply put the sugar cubes in a Ziploc container and pound on the sugar to make smaller pieces using a meat tenderizer or small kitchen mallet.
Can I replace maple syrup?
The beauty of Belgian waffles is that you can top it with any syrup you want. Maple syrup has become the standard syrup to place on top of pancakes and waffles in North America. In Europe, liquids such as honey and other syrups are widely used.
You can easily replace maple syrup with honey, caramel sauce or if you absolutely don’t have any syrup, you can make your own simple syrup. Whatever satisfies the sweet tooth!
USE LOTS OF CINNAMON
This recipe has the word CINNAMON in it for a reason. We absolutely love cinnamon. The more cinnamon you use, the more pronounced all of the flavors would be.
Be careful not to put too much cinnamon as to not huff and puff!
How to make the best Belgian Waffles
To make the best Belgian waffles, you must preheat your Belgian waffle maker. This is very important. Just imagine baking muffins in cold oven! DISASTER. So, preheat your oven then spray non-stick cooking oil.
Once you preheat your Belgian waffle maker, in a bowl, sift together your dry ingredients, whisk and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix together melted butter, buttermilk, egg yolks and vanilla together.
In another bowl, whisk the egg whites vigorously until it reaches a stiff peak. Be careful not to over mix the egg whites. If you over mix, the whites will break into this white, liquid, fluffy mess.
Gently mix in the flour and dry ingredients into the wet and mix only until the ingredients are incorporated. Do not over mix.
Gently fold in the egg whites into to the waffle batter in batches. Do not over mix. It is all right for the egg whites to not completely lose itself in the batter. If you mix the eggs for too long, the air in the egg whites will disappear and the whole purpose of separating the yolk from the whites would have been for nothing. This is a very important step. You may fold in the Belgian pearl sugar if you have.
Pour the batter into the Belgian waffle maker and cook until the waffle turns golden brown and crisp.
You may cut the waffle into 4 and serve immediately with syrup!
Belgian Waffles With Cinnamon, Vanilla And Maple Syrup
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 egg yolks
- ¼ cup butter melted
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon or more if you love cinnamon like I do
- 1-2 tbsp Belgian pearl sugar optional
- Preheat your Belgian waffle iron.
- Whisk the melted butter, buttermilk, egg yolks and vanilla together.
- Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and sugar and stir into the mixture.
- Whisk or whip the egg whites until its porous and stiff.
- Fold into the batter.
- Add the optional Belgian pearl sugar.
- Pour the batter onto the Belgian waffle iron and cook until the waffles have a crispy golden brown color.
- Serve with maple syrup. Trust me! You can also add berries and whip cream!