My mom gave me some pearl sugar a while back (Christmas? Birthday? I have no idea…) and it’s been waiting patiently in the cabinet to be used. Yesterday, all of the stars aligned and I had all of the necessary ingredients to make Belgian Liege sugar waffles – thick waffles studded with pearl sugar.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
- 3/4 cup warm milk
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla (I used my homemade vanilla-infused vodka — 3 vanilla beans + good vodka + 6 months = yummy vanilla infusion)
- 3-4 cups of flour (you’ll see why it might be different for you)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pearl sugar (I used Swedish, not Belgian, but I say use what you can find)
Here’s what you do:
Combine white sugar, yeast, and warm milk in a large bowl.
Cover and let sit for 20 minutes.
Add the eggs and vanilla.
Add the flour little by little – 1/2 flour, all of the salt, then flour 1/2 cup at a time until it is a thick batter.
Your final batter should look like this:
Cover the batter and let it sit (away from drafts, again) for at least 40 minutes – it should grow a little in size, but probably will not double – mine didn’t.
Stir in the pearl sugar gently (look how cute it is!) and preheat your waffle iron.
When the waffle iron is hot, drop a large spoonful of batter in each quadrant (we have a lovely new Cuisinart Belgian waffle maker that I received as a bridal shower gift), and wait patiently.
When your waffle iron beeps (I set it between 2 & 3), pull them off and enjoy!
My finished waffles were less than 3 inches across, and studded with the beautiful pearl sugar. The taste was rich and complex, and it was much more substantial than the typical waffle – it’s really more like a crispy little sweet bread. The sugar adds crispy little bits on the outside, but melts on the inside of the waffles. I had mine plain, and my man enjoyed his with a spread of Nutella. So very Spanish of him – eating these with him reminds me of a little visit to Giuseppe Ricci with my friend Lisi – she had a gofre (Spanish word for waffle) con chocolate, I think.
The only thing I regret about this whole process is waiting so long to try this! Now, what’s next…?