Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Liege Waffles Round Two

  I hope you had as wonderful a holiday break as we did. We spent New Year's Eve with my family and given that we all love to cook, we had enough food to feed a small country. We all provided one or more finger foods/appetizers so that we'd have something for everyone (that, and it's just more fun to have a lot of little things to munch.) Dinner turned into a 2 hour affair, which I am certainly not complaining about (although my hips might say otherwise). We simply ate and visited and ate some more, as each item came out of the oven. Speaking of the cooking process, I have now mastered the art of figuring out how to cook 10+ dishes at varying oven temperatures.
  After my last attempt at Liege Waffles I decided it was time to try again at perfecting them; this time for a spectacular dessert I could "WOW" my family with. The recipe I used originally was quite an ordeal, so I scoured the internet for more recipes that required less of me (it's called Christmas break for a reason). I came across a recipe from Bobby Flay; given that he's a very reputable cook (and that it only required about 1 1/2 hours prep time), I decided to give it a shot. Can I note here that if by some chance you have managed to get away with not buying a kitchen scale, this recipe is worth buying one for! So go right now and buy one! Seriously, they're like $15 at Walmart! You'll be happy you did.
  I tried the waffle recipe out early in the week prior to New Year's Eve to see how they turned out. They were delicious, but still a little too heavy (I'm basing this off the texture of the incredible $10 waffle I purchased at Bruges Waffles and Frites a couple months ago). So, New Year's Eve morning as I began making the dough, I made the decision to increase the flour by half a pound (I should note here that I cut the recipe by 5 so I would have one-fifth the original-I did not need nearly 50 waffles!)
  The $10 waffle at Bruges I spoke's called the "Torpedo". It is a liege waffle that is stuffed with Belgium dark chocolate. I then chose to top it with strawberries and vanilla bean ice cream (They also offer something called "Speculoos" which is a spread made from "Biscoff" cookies. Incredible!) Of course, these were the waffles I planned to "WOW" my family with.
  As I divided my dough into balls for the waffles, I split each portion in half resulting in 20 smaller balls of dough. I placed these on Silpat-lined baking sheets and covered them with cooking spray-coated plastic wrap.
  When it came time to cook the waffles, I placed one portion of dough on the waffle iron plate, stuck a square of chocolate in it (I used a Belgium chocolate I found in the candy aisle at the supermarket), then placed another portion of dough on top of the chocolate and closed the waffle iron. Once the waffle was golden brown and the sugar and melted and caramelized on the waffle, I knew it was done.
  Here's the finished product: A Belgium Chocolate-stuffed Liege Waffle topped with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Strawberries and crushed Biscoff Cookies (because Speculoos isn't sold in the states and I couldn't get Biscoff spread without driving 30 miles).  

 Please excuse the paper plate-we were trying our hardest to avoid standing in the kitchen washing dishes so we could spend more time socializing.

1/5 Bobby Flay's recipe ingredients:

1 lb. flour
2 eggs
scant 1/2 c. whole milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
vanilla bean (a whole bean never hurt any recipe)
1/4 lb. honey
.05 lb. yeast
.55 lb. unsalted butter (the equivalent of 17 Tbsp.)
1 1/4 tsp. salt
.3 lb. pearl sugar (which I purchased on Amazon in bulk)

 As a quick note; if you live near me and would like to try making this recipe on your own, but do not want to purchase a dozen boxes of pearl sugar, give me a call and I'd be happy to sell you one of my boxes. I want any interested parties to join the Liege Waffle obsession with me!

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