- Yield: 6
- Prep Time: 2h 00 min
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
Belgian Chocolate Liege Waffles
For quite a while I've been craving waffles for a weekend breakfast, remembering that I actually do have a waffle iron hidden deep inside one of my kitchen cabinets behind the stand mixer and the food processor. So last Friday, I took a stroll on the various food pages on the internet and found something that caught my attention right away: Chocolate Caramel Liege Waffles on the Bakingdom blog. Since the last waffles I made were the ultimately light and fluffy, yet crispy on the outside, cornmeal waffles from Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland, these Belgian style waffles promised quite a different experience with their rich and dense texture.
I've modified the recipe for the waffles slightly, using less butter and a bit more milk instead, and used my go-to recipe for salted caramel sauce for the topping. I've added some bananas, but you could put anything on top of these waffles that you like or even just go with the caramel sauce. I, however, liked how the bananas were cutting through the richness of it all.
The batter for the waffles is more like a dough actually and has yeast in it, which means it requires proofing time. I started the process around 8 in the morning and had my waffles on the plate by 10 (after baking them piece by piece). I still need to try it out, but I'm sure that it's possible to make the dough the night before and proof it already divided into portions in the fridge. Then all you have to do in the morning is bring the little dough balls to room temperature and waffle away.
One last remark: if you are anything like me, you do not plan ahead enough to order the required Belgian Pearl Sugar days in advance and can pull it out when you need it. I just used sugar cubes which I put into a freezer bag and smashed with a meat tenderizer. Don't be too hard or soft on it, you want about pea sized sugar pieces. Just sift the whole bag through a strainer and then use what's left in there. Worked perfectly for my waffles.
Please be aware that the sugar is caramelizing in your waffle iron as you make the waffles, thus leaving quite the mess. I found the easiest way to clean that up is let it cool completely so the caramel hardens. Then you can just chip it out the crevices of your waffle maker.
- For the Waffles
- Whole Milk - 1/2 cup, lukewarm
- Butter - 1/2 stick, 4 tbsp
- Eggs - 2 whole
- Honey - 1 tbsp
- Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
- Bread Flour* - 1 1/2 cups
- Dutch Processed Cocoa - 1/2 cup
- Dark Brown Sugar - 2 tbsp, packed
- Instant Yeast - 1 brief, 1 1/4 tsp
- Ground Cinnamon - 1/4 tsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Belgian Pearl Sugar - 2/3 - 3/4 cups
- For the Caramel Sauce
- Granulated Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Butter - 3 tbsp
- Heavy Cream - 1/3 cup
- Flaky Sea Salt - 1/4 - 1/2 tsp (to taste)
How to make the Waffles
- In a large measuring cup, mix milk, butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and honey, and set aside
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, combine flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, yeast, cinnamon, and salt.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the milk mixture into the flour mixture.
- Increase the speed to medium and kneed for about 8 minutes, until the dough releases from the bowl.
- Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let it rest in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- After the resting, manually kneed the pearl sugar into the dough. Make sure it's evenly distributed.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and form into balls.
- Cover and let the dough balls rest for another 15 to 30 minutes.
- Flatten each dough ball and cook for about 3 minutes in your waffle maker. I had mine set close to the maximum heat, but since each waffle maker is slightly different, you should find your own best setting.
- Put waffles on a wire rack, set in a baking sheet, and keep warm in a 200° F oven until you're done making all of them.
- Dust waffles with powdered sugar, drizzle with the caramel sauce, add fruit and/or whipped cream, and serve warm
- Leftover waffles can be wrapped in plastic foil and frozen individually. Heat them in your toaster for a quick and easy breakfast treat.
How to make the Caramel Sauce
- Combine sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a heavy saucepan.
- Set over medium high heat - without stirring - until the whole mixture has a nice amber color.
- Add in the butter and stir until it's dissolved.
- Turn the heat to low and stir in the heavy cream while whisking constantly. Careful, because the caramel is extremely hot, it will bubble up aggressively.
- Keep stirring for another 2 minutes until the sauce is smooth, then sprinkle in the sea salt.
- Store leftovers for up to two weeks in the fridge, I put mine into mason jars.
*The recipe calls for bread flour and that's what I have used. However, you can make this with regular All-Purpose Flour. The difference is that All-Purpose Flour has less protein and thus the final waffle may not rise as much. Due to the restrictions in the waffle maker, this isn't a big deal.