On a narrow, cobbled street just off of Grand’Place in Brussels lives a crowded, casual diner called The Waffle Factory. Touristy? Absolutely. Worth a stop? Absolutely!
Despite the fact that two out of every three people who arrive in Brussels by plane seem to make their way to this diner, The Waffle Factory is both affordable and delicious. For just a few Euro, my travel companions and I indulged in waffles bedecked with Chantilly crème, Nutella, and strawberries. Beat that, American fast food!
Belgian-style waffles are surprisingly easy to make. They freeze remarkably well when allowed to cool completely before being wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the freezer. To reheat and enjoy, simply pop them in your toaster. Delicious! I try to keep a few frozen waffles on hand at all times, for quick breakfasts and late night snacks.
The trick to making fluffy Belgian waffles is very simple – separate your eggs and beat the egg whites really, really well. A simple hand mixer can handle that task, and waffle irons are cheap… what are you waiting for?
Ingredients (Makes 12- 14 waffles)
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 whole eggs
3 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup applesauce (not chunky)
4 egg whites
2 teaspoons almond extract
Step 1) Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
Step 2) Combine whole eggs, milk, oil, applesauce, and almond extract in a medium bowl. Mix well, then add to large bowl with dry ingredients. Whisk together until most of the lumps are gone, and batter is fairly smooth.
Step 4) Gently fold egg whites, a little at a time, into the flour and milk mixture. Do not over-stir! The resulting batter will look very lumpy (as shown to the left). Don’t worry, that’s normal. The lumps are from air in the egg whites, which will make your waffles extra fluffy!
Step 5) Cook waffles as directed for your particular waffle iron. Brush your waffle iron with oil (use a pastry brush or a napkin dipped in vegetable oil and held with tongs – not your fingers!) before cooking each waffle. My waffle iron has a little circle that lights up when the temperature is hot enough to add 1/2 cup of batter, and then the light goes off when the waffle is cooked. Easy peasy.