Taste of Europe Series: Bruge – Belgian Waffles

Evening stroll along the river – Bruge

Of all the foods to try, waffles were the top of the list for our Bruge experience. People all over the web world absolutely rave about real Belgium waffles. I was skeptical. I mean, com’on, I make the best waffles ever, right? Just kidding… :P

There were waffle shops all over Bruge, so we just picked one that we happened to be walking by. A small cafe style place, sandwiched between two other stone buildings and crowded with people.

Bird’s eye view of Bruge from the bell tower.

We ordered one waffle, to split between the two of us, with strawberries and cream and sat down to…pick it apart. Literally. :D

Oh my! The first bite was the only one I needed to know that Belgium waffles indeed beat the socks off our American versions.
Problem #1 – I couldn’t figure out how they made the texture like they did.
Problem #2 – One waffle between two people just doesn’t cut it! :D

I left that cafe determined to make a waffle just like it once we arrived home.

After doing some Internet searching for the right recipe that I thought might be a good start for re-creation, I launched the first try.

Yeast was the key, or so I read. To some extent, I agree. Yeast… and lots of sugar. Unlike the American counterparts, these waffles are like desert and, in my opinion, too sweet (not to mention unhealthy) for breakfast.

#1Try number one, was close but not close enough. After describing the texture to Mom, she mentioned using vanilla pudding in the batter.

#2Try two, plus the pudding, was close enough. So that’s the recipe I’ll share here. be prepared for updates though, if I hit upon THE one!

Once again we have to start off with a recipe to get to the recipe. Here’s one for the best and easiest Vanilla Pudding I’ve ever had.

Vanilla Pudding

2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 t. salt
2 1/2 c. milk
4 lg. egg yolks
2 T. butter
1 t. vanilla
In a medium sauce pan, off heat, whisk together sugar, starch, and salt.
Very gradually (a few Tablespoons at a time) whisk in milk, taking care to dissolve starch.
Whisk in egg yolks.
Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until the first large bubble forms and sputters.
Reduce heat to low and cook 1 minute, stirring.
Strain through sieve into bowl (or not – I didn’t and it was fine, especially if you’re making it for waffles).
Stir butter and vanilla into hot pudding.
Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding (to prevent skin from forming).
Chill at least 3 hours and up to three days.
Before serving, whisk until smooth.
Serves four – or makes about 3 cups.

Now for what we’ve all been waiting for – the waffle recipe!

1 c. milk
2 t. yeast
1 stick butter, melted
4 eggs, separated
3 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1 c. vanilla sugar
2 c. Vanilla pudding

Heat milk to lukewarm. Add yeast and let stand.
Separate egg yolks from whites. Beat whites until firm peaks form.

Combine yeast mixture, melted butter, egg yolks, salt and flour. Beat well. Fold in egg whites.

Oooo… Small bowl! You think I can do it?

Let dough rest at room temperature for one hour or refrigerate overnight. (Be sure to use a bowl that is at least 3 times bigger than the volume of the dough! I didn’t… and had a mess to clean up! :P)

Whew! Made it! :D What a mess!

                       Just before cooking, fold in pudding and sugar. Make sure griddle is well oiled and very hot. My griddles tend to brown these waffles faster than the ones I usually make.

 Serve with Whipped cream and strawberries. In Bruge they also served them with plain powdered sugar, or chocolate sauce. Nutella was a huge thing there – even on waffles!

For more about our adventures in Bruge click this link.


2 thoughts on “Taste of Europe Series: Bruge – Belgian Waffles

  1. OK girls, this will be a request when we get to OK, George is a big fan of Belgium Waffles. He was ready to get in the car…..When he was drafted he spent most of his time in Germany, and Paris France also took a side trip to Italy with his Italian Army friends. Sorry he didn't check these out. So happy to have your blog site. This is one way to keep up with our adopted Naylor family. Shane is getting married in Canada at Lake Louise in Feb. 2011 so that is probably our next trip. We are staining the outside logs this weekend. Big project, thought about calling the painters but George is determined to kill himself and do this himself. I will be the gofer–pray we are still married after this project.

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