These original Belgian waffles are crisp and fluffy. The batter has both beaten egg whites and yeast in it, which makes these waffles almost lighter than air.
This is a Belgian recipe for waffles. Oddly enough though, they’re not the “Belgian waffles” that most North-Americans know. Pretty confusing. So please bear with me, while I waffle on (ha!) about the history of the waffle.
To start our story it’s important to note, that there’s no such thing as “the” Belgian waffle. There are actually different types, with the Liège waffle and the Brussels waffle being the most well known. The first uses a bread-like dough with pearl sugar mixed through. The latter uses a yeast-leavened batter and is light and crisp. The internationally known Belgian waffle, is a simplified version of the Brussels waffle.
The waffle in general has a very long history and it’s impossible to say who exactly invented first. The history of the Brussels waffle is equally murky. What is clear, is that the Brussels waffle only got that name when it first became popular with the aristocracy. Because at first, with waffles containing luxury products like sugar, it was very much a treat for the rich. The bakers selling the waffle, wanted to make sure their waffles sounded fancy enough for their customers. So named their waffles after the fanciest place in the country: Brussels, the nations capitol city.
So how exactly did this Belgian product go global? Well, we have Maurice Vermersch to thank for that. He sold Brussels waffles, very successfully, at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. He called his brand of waffles “Bel-Gem”, which over time turned into “Belgian”. Which is why the Brussels waffle is known internationally as the Belgian waffle. Over time the recipe of this Belgian waffle was simplified and it now often has baking powder as a leavening agent.
This recipe is for the original Brussels waffle however. Unfortunately I didn’t have the correct waffle iron. Brussels waffles are rectangular and have very deep wells. Luckily, waffles made with this batter, taste great no matter what shape you make them. They’re crisp, fluffy and almost lighter than air.
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