In the past few years Delhi has seen a surge of Waffles, some shops serving waffles exclusively and some cafe’s including waffles on their menu. Everyone has been raving about waffles. Well, I’m no exception. I love Waffles! I remember having my first waffle on the streets of Singapore. Piping hot Brussels waffles glued together with chocolate sauce and strawberry compote; a perfect on-the-go snack!
Waffles originated in Belgian as easy to eat street food, people would grab while walking to work, baked fresh hot. Belgian waffles are of two kinds – Brussels and Liège.
Brussels Waffles are crisp, light as air and have large pockets. They can be easily distinguished from Liège waffles by their rectangular shape. Traditionally prepared with a yeast-leavened batter, sometimes they incorporate beer. You can imagine people walking down the streets of Belgian, lured by the sweet luscious smell of freshly baked waffles, served with a dusting of Confectioner’s sugar.
Liège waffles on the other hand are denser, chewier, sweeter and can be considered the stronger of the two. It uses pearl sugar which caramelises on the outside making it crispy and rich. Inspired by a brioche, it involves making of a dough, unlike the other waffles which are made with batter. They originated in the city of Liège in the Wallonia region of Belgium. Often known as Gaufres in their home country, they are occasionally served with tea as an accompaniment.
Both waffles have unique flavours and are best eaten on their own without any embellishments (just as they serve on the streets of Belgium).
The North American waffle which quickly became one of the favourite breakfast dishes of the country (and outside), is an adapted version of the Brussels waffle, often referred as the “Belgian Waffle”. It is loaded with whipped cream, fresh fruits, maple syrup, butter and so much more! They are thicker, often round or square in shape and made with baking soda instead of yeast. This Belgian waffle has evolved over time and has become more of a ‘make at home breakfast’ than the original street food. Most restaurants prefer serving the American version of the waffle as its easier and quicker to make than the traditional Brussels or Liège waffles.
While its very easy to find waffles in the city, to find good waffles is a task in itself. My go-to place for waffles, undoubtedly is Di Ghent Boulangerie located in CrossPoint Mall. Though they aren’t accurately authentic Brussels waffles, they are close; crispy on the outside and soft inside, with a slightly chewy texture. My usual combination includes vanilla ice-cream, dark chocolate sauce and berry compote. They have recently revamped their menu and chopped off the option for Liège waffles but gave me a stellar tip for making (not exactly authentic but still similar) Liège waffles at home.
Di Ghent Tip : Sprinkle some confectioner’s sugar on top after pouring the batter in the waffle iron, this will give it a crispier exterior while maintaining the texture inside.
However, that’s not where the waffle revolution stopped. The waffle iron is now being used to invent and re-invent an array of dishes like the waffle pizza, waffle cinnamon roll, waffle panini, waffle brownie and so much more! There are absolutely no barriers on experimentation with the waffle iron. Put a donut in the waffle iron and see the magic happen!
LEBENSMITTEL INSIGHT : Stroopwaffles which we often find in supermarkets sold in pre-prepared packs are a popular snack of Netherlands and Belgium. They are eaten broken in half and glued together with a warm syrup in between.
Article Inspired by Waffles and Dinges, New York; brining back the history of waffles.