Have you ever had a liege waffle?
No, these aren't just belgian waffles (though they are Belgian in origin...)- they are denser, made with yeast, crunchy, sweet, decadent and are fantastic.
Yea, I am having a hard time writing this because just thinking about them makes me drool.
When I was in Eugene, Oregon recently for my cousin's wedding, we found an awesome little spot called Off The Waffle. Holy cow. Let me just say my waistline will never be the same again, because I was instantly hooked.
In fact, we went back to this delicious spot another morning, and I made my mom bring home a bunch of their frozen waffles in her suitcase.
While their crazy topping combinations there were out of this world, I kind of came up with my own waffle, loosely based on one of theirs, after playing around a bit and finding the best liege waffle recipe.
I know basil, chocolate and strawberries sound like a really funky mixture of tastes- but I promise you, it is amazing! And though liege waffles arent the world's easiest, they are SO worth the extra effort- but you can also use my topping recipe on a regular belgian waffle- or heck, even to dress up a plain old Eggo.
Liege waffles are different than your standard, well known belgian waffle because they are have yeast, and their crunchy sweetness comes from pearl sugar. While they do require advanced planning (the dough needs to rise overnight), and are a little extra effort (finding pearl sugar from a specialty foods store or online), they are totally worth it because you can make up a big batch, and either save the dough in individual serving sizes or freeze the entire waffle. They taste just as good reheated in a toaster after being frozen!
Since the recipe is long, and when I tried to make my own tweaks to it I failed miserably, I want to direct you to the best one I could find- head on over here for full info. It looks like a lot of work- there are a few steps- but it is really only a few minutes of hands-on time and really not much actual work, I promise. Just a lot of time for yeast to rise. If I had the patience for them, you will- REALLY! They are totally worth the effort.
(ps- I have a cuisinart belgian waffle maker. I was afraid that since this dough is super heavy and sticky it would act weirdly, but it worked beautifully).
For the topping combination I am showing today, you'll need:
-1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate, belgian chocolate, or any dark not-too-sweet variety
-1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
-handful of basil, or about 5 leaves, washed and sliced thin
-dash lemon juice
First, melt your chocolate. If you are using fine chocolate, melt it using a double boiler. If you're just using some semi-sweet chips, you can go ahead and microwave it in a few 30 second rounds. Be sure to thoroughly stir after each time in the microwave.
When the chocolate is completely melted, drizzle a little on your waffle, then set aside.
Quickly toss strawberries in a dash of lemon juice, and if they aren't super ripe (whats up, winter berries...) you can always add a tiny pinch of pearl sugar to them. It's pretty, too- like little sprinkles.
Spread your berries along the top, and sprinkle the waffle with basil.
Drizzle the rest of the chocolate over your waffle.
The next batch of these I am going to make will involve a mixture of bacon, chocolate and fresh maple syrup... watch out!
What is YOUR favorite waffle topping combo?