This post is brought to you by Nutella
Liege waffles are possibly one of the most delicious little treats you could conjure up. And up until recently I didn't think I stood a chance of replicating these gorgeous caramelised waffles. These are unlike most other waffles because they are made with a rich, buttery brioche type dough. They then caramelise on the outside with a special ingredient and I served these drizzled with delicious Nutella!
The history of Liege waffles is complicated with many purported stories about. Some say that Liege waffles were invented by the chef of the Prince-Bishop of Liège who was asked that he make something to show off the new Belgian pearl sugar. However pearl sugar was around in the 17th century so it wasn't a new invention and sugar was so cost prohibitive that most could not afford it. And in the early 1800's recipes began appearing using "gros sucre" called "Gaufres Grêlées" or hail waffles using a buttery yeast dough from no other than Marie-Antoine Carême (one of the great French patissiers). These chunks of hard sugar are known for keeping their shape in baking. However in a waffle iron they caramelise at around 188C/370F and they form a gorgeous crunchy, caramelised layer on the outside.
A Liege waffle is an entirely different beast to a Belgian waffle (it's confusing). A Liege waffle is dense, chewier and buttery. It is commonly a street food that can be eaten on the go. To me, nothing beats a liege waffle - if you love buttery brioche then this beauty is for you. I even love the look of the buttery dough speckled with white sugar dotted through it. It's so unusual that you can't help but know that something special is going to happen. Traditionally they were made using ale yeast but as that can be difficult to find we used regular. Some recipes are long and elaborate but I found this shorter version produced a recipe just as good.
They're not usually dipped in Nutella but since when is adding Nutella not the best.move.ever? And I've got some exciting news for Nutella fans. It's Australia's first Nutella road trip! From today, Nutella's food truck will be winding its way from Sydney to Melbourne dispensing free Nutella items to make your morning a Nutella morning! Look out for the silver toaster on wheels helmed by The Nighthawk Diner's Alistair Fogg, a man who perfectly described the whole concept as "chocolate, hazelnuts and dreams!"
Yes FREE NUTELLA MENU ITEMS!!
Sorry I got a bit excited there.
The Nutella road trip schedule is as follows:
Sydney, Wynyard Park, Wednesday 15 June, 08.00am – 11.00am
Sydney, Centenary Park, Thursday 16 June, 08.30am – 11.30am
Sydney, Sydney Uni, Friday 17 June, 08.30am – 11.30am
Sydney, Glebe Markets, Saturday 18 June, 10.00am – 01.00pm
Lithgow, Lithgow Valley Plaza, Sunday 19 June, 09.00am – 12.00pm
Goulburn, Belmore Park, Monday 20 June, 08.30am – 11.30am
Wagga Wagga, Victory Memorial Gardens, Tuesday 21 June, 08.30am – 11.30am
Albury, QEII Square, Wednesday 22 June, 08.30am – 11.30am
Bendigo, Hargreaves Mall, Thursday 23 June, 08.30am – 11.30am
Ballarat Bridge Mall, Friday 24 June, 08.30am – 11.30am
Melbourne, St Kilda, Saturday 25 to Sunday 26 June, 08.30am – 11.30am
Melbourne, Queensbridge Square, Monday 27 June, 08.00am – 11.00am
Geelong, Little Malop St, Tuesday 28 June, 09.00am – 12.00pm
So what is on the menu? I got a little preview of the food. There are seven menu items available every day:
Mandarin dipped in Nutella with toasted hazelnuts
Stewed winter berries with Nutella and toasted coconut
Pikelet with smashed banana and Nutella
Crumpet with Nutella, banana and strawberries
Seasonal fruit skewer with Nutella
Raisin toast with Nutella and berries
Crepe stack with Nutella and crispy bacon
Raisin toast with Nutella and berries and Crumpet with Nutella, banana and strawberries
My favourites were the little stack of hot cakes with bacon and Nutella because hello Nutella and bacon and I also loved the Raisin toast with Nutella and berries because it was simple to do at home. For more information take a peek at the Nutella Facebook page here. and don't forget to use the hashtag #NutellaRoadTrip if you score one of these goodies.
So tell me Dear Reader, are you a nut for Nutella? Have you ever had a liege waffle? Do you prefer a particular kind of waffle? And will you be joining the queue?
Crepe stack with Nutella and crispy bacon and Pikelet with smashed banana and Nutella
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Liege Waffles With Nutella
Makes 12 Liege Waffles
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 30 minutes plus 1 hour 10 minutes waiting time
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 2 teaspoons instant dried yeast
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1/4 cup milk, warmed to room temperature (not exceeding 48.8°C/120°F)
- 2 - 2 1/4 cup plain all purpose flour
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 113g/1 stick/1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled for a few minutes
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons best quality vanilla
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups Belgian pearl sugar*
- 50g/1.7ozs butter, melted
- Nutella to serve
*Belgian pearl sugar is needed to create these waffles as the hard sugar crystals caramelise against the hot element. You can buy Belgian pearl sugar from The Essential Ingredient and other fine food stores. It is not available at the supermarket.
Step 1 - Stir the sugar into the milk and then stir in the yeast. Cover with cling film and allow to foam and bubble for 10 minutes. Add 2 cups of the flour to the bowl of an electric mixer, Place the eggs, butter, honey, vanilla and salt in a jug and whisk to combine. Add this to the flour along with the yeast mixture and knead for 4-5 minutes using a dough hook. It is a soft, buttery dough but it may need the extra 1/4 cup of flour to be able to shape it.
Step 2 - Shape the dough into a round and place in a warm, draught free area for an hour or so until doubled in size. Then knead 1.5 cups of pearl sugar into the dough making sure to reserve 1/2 a cup. Divide into 12 equal pieces and shape into rounds. Allow to rise again for 10 minutes.
Step 3 - Heat a waffle iron to the full heat-you basically want it to get to 185C/365F as this is the temperature at which the pearl sugar melts. Brush lightly with the extra melted butter and sprinkle some extra pearl sugar on each side of the dough rounds. Cook for 2.5 minutes. Be careful when removing them as the sugar is very hot. Serve with Nutella and fresh fruit.