Several years ago, I attended the International Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. The runaway favorite was the Belgium Waffles with Berry Compote. Belgium waffle makers have been around for years but what is put into them is not always Belgium waffles. Some recipes refer to any recipe made in a Belgium waffle iron which makes deeper waffles as Belgium waffles. However, authentic Belgium waffles contain yeast. These waffles were crisp on the outside and very tender and light on the inside. What differentiates the Belgium waffle from a regular waffle is the depth of the waffle. They are deeper so hold more compote or syrup than a regular waffle.
I initially thought egg whites were beaten and folded into the batter. Ugh! But these actually have two surprise ingredients that make them what they are – yeast and beer. So these become not just easy to make, but ridiculously easy!
All you need is a big bowl, a whisk and some measuring cups. The dry ingredients go into t he bowl and the wet ones are poured on top. A few turns of the whisk and they are done. Making these perfect for a morning brunch is the fact they have to be refrigerated overnight. In the morning all you have to do is heat up the waffle iron and pour the batter in.
The batter will have a grayish tinge the next day and will have a sweet but faint twang to it which is as it should be.
The berry compote is just as easy and can be made while the waffles are finishing or it can be made ahead and reheated. Fresh or frozen fruit can be used. I generally use a frozen berry mix found in my grocers freezer. It is so much less expensive than the fresh fruit.
At the festival these were served with sweetened whipped cream. I have made that an option here.
This is the official Belgium Waffles recipe from Disney and I can’t tell you how many times we returned for one more of these waffles. I am happy to be able to relive that event at home now.
I have included some links to other blogs featuring yeasted Belgium Waffles. None of them contain beer but I think it adds to the crispness just as a beer batter for fried fruit does.
Belgium Waffles2 1/2 cups all purpose four (350 grams or 12 1/3 ounces)
2 tablspoons granulated sugar (25 grams or 1 ounce)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons beer
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, melted (114 grams, 4 ounces or 1 stick)
Whisk together all of the remaining ingredients and pour into the well.Whisk, just until blended. Do not worry about small lumps – they will disappear as it rests. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.To make the waffles: Bring the batter to room temperature. Ladle into the waffle maker and cook according to the manufacturers directions. Serve warm with berry compote and whipped cream if desired.
Berry Compote and Whipped Cream1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup apple, orange or cranberry juice
1/4 cup sugar (50 grams or 1 3/4 ounces)
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 – 1 pound bag of frozen mixed berries as they are
1 cup 40% or heavy cream, optional
1/4 cup powdered sugar (30 grams or 1 ounce), optional
Place the frozen fruit in a saucepan along with the sugar. Heat to thaw the fruit. When it is thawed and juiced, add the cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until slightly thickened. Cool to warm and serve.
Fresh Fruit Directions
Combine the cornstarch and red wine vinegar in a small bowl; stir to combine. Set aside.
Combine the fruit juice, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Add the cornstarch mixture along with the blueberries and blackberries. Cook 1 to 2 minutes until slightly softened. Add the strawberries and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and fold in the raspberries. Cool to warm and serve.
Combine the cream and powdered sugar. Whip to the chantilly stage which is just thickened and holding its shape.
Other variations for Belgium Waffles can be found at:
http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/05/essential-raised-waffles/– interesting background here.