There is the chocolate. There is the beer. There is the cheese. There are the ‘frites’ (and no, not the French fries). And then there is the Gaufre. Or waffle, as it is internationally known.The most famous of them all is of course the Gaufre de Liége. Legend has it that the Gaufre was invented in the 18th century by the cuisinier of the Prince of Liege. The Prince asked for a sugary pastry, to which his cook mixed sugar and dough and started cooking. The aroma of burned sugar, and vanilla delighted the Prince so much, that the Gaufre became an integral part of the regional cuisine of Liege. The Gaufre de Liege is usually small and very sweet, with a burned sugar coating.
With time the Gaufre travelled through the kingdom of Belgium, and the Gaufre de Bruxelles was born as well. The Brussels waffle is thicker, lighter and crispier, with larger partitions. You can find them all over Brussels and they are usually served with fruits or whipped cream, chocolate sauce or ice cream.
A delight for tourists and locals alike, the Gaufre is now as high ranking as the Belgian chocolate or Belgian beer. Ideally eaten with a Belgian chocolate coating, and washed down with a Belgian beer perhaps? The recipes are endless for the ‘traditional Gaufre de Liege’. One item, which guarantees success, is the gaufre-iron. However as many non-Belgian households do not have them, a baking tin or sheet will do as well.
Then again when going to Liege you are assured that those are the only real, traditionally (and secretly) baked Gaufres. Who knows the real truth but the cook at the court of the Prince of Liege?
30gr vanilla sugar
Warm the butter till almost melted. Mix the sugar in and whisk the eggs, one by one, into the mass. Mix and stir vigorously the flour, vanilla sugar and then add the oil. Continue until you have a smooth dough. Heat the waffle iron and grease it, then pour the dough unto the iron and bake the waffles till golden brown.