The Best Waffles in Town
Baby it’s cold outside. And what’s better than having a hot Brussels waffle with a cup of fresh-brewed coffee after an exhausting day of Christmas shopping? Last week, the I Love Belgium team went early in the morning to the Dandoy tea room in Brussels to watch one of the city's most famous waffles made to perfection.
Founded in 1829 by Jean-Baptiste Dandoy, the Maison Dandoy hosted Charles Baudelaire in the 1860s, who was a fan of its gingerbread. True to its original address––31 Rue au Beurre, aka street of butter––Maison Dandoy is still known not just for its waffles but its cookies and biscuits. We were admittedly tempted by such sugary treats, but stuck to our quest: finding the best recipe to make a Brussels waffle.
The pastry chefs at Dandoy's tea room location on the rue Charles Buls make fresh waffle batter every morning. (That's Brussels waffle batter, mind you, which has air bubbles inside which makes the final product light and fluffy. The Liège waffle, meanwhile, is filled with lumps of sugar.) At Dandoy, the Brussels waffles are topped with homemade chocolate sauce, ice cream, and whipped cream or icing sugar. On very busy days, over 600 of these small indulgences go over the counter. The friendly people at Dandoy were nice enough to give us their recipe. Readers: do try this at home!
Ingredients (serves 4):
25 grams* fresh yeast
500 grams milk
500 grams warm water
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
600 grams pastry flour
200 grams melted butter
1 tsp of bourbon vanilla sugar
*28 grams = 1 ounce
Begin melting butter in a pan. In a bowl, mix the yeast with milk and water. Beat the egg yolks by hand or food processor until frothy and add the bourbon vanilla sugar to them. Mix everything together and add pastry flour, stirring the batter lightly by hand. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Fold them gently into the batter mix and add the melted butter. Let the dough rest half an hour until air bubbles appear.
Heat your waffle iron and pour in the dough until the mold is full. Turn your waffle iron over after three minutes. Bake another three minutes until golden brown. Cut the overflowing dough bits pressed from the iron, take out your waffle and... enjoy!
31 Rue au Beurre (Store) or 4-18 Rue Charles Buls (Tea room)
All pictures taken with the Nikon D7100