In North America, Belgian waffles are a variety of waffle with a batter often enlighten with beaten egg whites. Popular for breakfast, it pairs with many sweet and savory toppings. Though, the traditional Belgian waffles is made with yeast. Look up at my Belgian Waffles Recipe. The best out there is the Belgian Liege waffles, made with a buttery yeasty dough – just like brioche that is dotted with pearl sugar. They are usually served as is for snacks. Here is the recipe with a French twist inspired by the crepe suzette style (Crepes with orange butter sauce). The result is quite incredible. Note that part of pearl sugar in Liege style waffles is supposed to end up caramelized once cooked. If it does not, it means that your waffle maker is too weak. There is two options here; invest in a more efficient waffle maker or waffle baker, or make caramelize pearls from scratch. I chose the second option. In addition, it offers amazing results. *For the poached oranges, look up at Poached Lemons Recipe.
Make it just like a traditional brioche dough. Leave butter out for about an hour, and punch it down to make butter pliable and cool. In your stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, mix all ingredients together on medium speed except the butter. Scrap down sides of the bowl every so often until the end of mixing. Set speed to medium-high and mix for 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic prior to add fat. When gluten bonds are formed, the protein then can form elastic films in the dough, which provides structure and helps to trap gases, assisting in leavening of products. Throw in butter into pieces, and continue mixing for about 4 minutes more. At the end of mixing, the internal dough temperature should be around 77/80ºF/ 25/27ºC. Note that the friction factor will increase dough temperature by ≈5 degree celsius. So, if the dough is at 20ºC when ingredients are just combined, it should end up at 25/27ºC. Look up at Croissant Taste Of France Recipe for more technology tips. Cover dough, and let ferment for 90 minutes at room temperature. Brioche can also be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days. However, for the Liege waffles making process it is best to proceed as suggested.
To make caramel a sec, cook sugar to light brown caramel. Transfer caramel onto a silicone baking mat. Let it cool for a couple of minute. When caramel begins to set, square it off using a greased metal scraper, or spatula. It is going to get firmer as it cools down. Before it gets too hard, cut into 0.6''/1.5cm strips and cubes. Cool caramel pearls completely before adding to the dough. Caramel can be made in advance and stored in a sealed container for months.
Pearl sugar can be ordered online. To make your own, gently break sugar cubes using a meat tenderizer. Then, sieve it and save pearls for the recipe.
Transfer waffle dough onto your work surface. No extra flour is needed. Deflate, and cover the whole surface with pearl sugar, caramelized pearls and diced poached oranges. Fold into a tight log making sure the suzette mixture is well distributed. Cut log into 8 equal portions (4.6 ounces/130g). Arrange waffles on countertop, cover and let rest for 30 minutes, and cook. If you are planing to cook them the following day, freeze portioned waffles immediately for 2 hours, or for up to a month. Then, let waffles to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Leave them out for 30 minutes before cooking.
Grease the waffle maker plates just once. You can use cooking spray, or hight smoking point oil. This will prevent dough from sticking and makes cleaning up easier. Heat up waffle maker. Cook each waffle for about 3 minutes. With a heatproof spatula, carefully transfer hot waffle on wire rack. Let cool for 5 minutes before eating, or until caramelized spots are solid. Enjoy!. Cooked waffles can also be frozen sealed in freezer bags. To reheat them, throw in your preheated waffle maker for about 30 seconds. Let stand for a few minutes before eating. Bon appétit!
Since some caramel spots will form during cooking Liege waffles, here is how to clean it. Allow the waffle maker to cool completely. Re-heat it a bit, unplug and wipe the plates down with a few soft, damp paper towels. If the plate are removable, you can soak them in water. Avoid using soap unless the instruction manual specifically tells you to do so.