I never really cared much for the cafeteria my freshman year of college. Instead, since my roommate and I were both Nutrition majors, we would go together to use our meal plans to buy healthier items at the campus market and stock up our mini fridge. However, if I ever did go to the cafeteria, it was usually for an irrational late night splurge- either Mac n cheese, Belgian waffles, or Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I loved the waffles because you could pour the batter yourself into the Belgian waffle flipper and cook it just to your liking. This is how I fell in love with Belgian waffles.
But what makes them different from regular old 'waffles' that I would like them so much more? Well, Belgian waffles have a much lighter and fluffier batter, traditionally from yeast, but could also be from baking soda or other leaveners. This creates the contrast of a super soft and light inside with the sweet and crispy outside. There are few things worse than a soggy, flimsy waffle. Also the fluffy volume of the Belgian batter allows it to fill out the deeper pockets of the Belgian waffle iron. No wonder I loved them so much, lightly crispy with a tender middle AND I could fit more syrup, strawberries, and whipped cream in its deep pockets! So this is their trick to the freshmen fifteen!
After researching numerous recipes online, this one stood out to me because it was a very successful recipe from the writer's mom's kitchen. I've learned that any recipe that begins with some variation of, 'This was my mom's recipe...' is usually a winner. Plus, she calls the waffles 'delectable delights'!! It was meant to be! I have made these several times now, and trust me- these 'delectable delights' do not disappoint!
Ingredient List (This makes 4 on my very big waffle iron, but maybe 6 on a regular sized one?):
2 1/4 tsp dry Yeast (or 1 pkg)
2 cups warmed Milk
4 Eggs, separated
1 tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 cup melted Butter (or 1 stick)
1. In a glass measuring cup/bowl, warm your milk in the microwave and stir in the yeast.
**Normally, when I am baking with yeast, I sprinkle some sugar in warm water because the yeast needs warmth and nutrition to grow. But, since this recipe uses milk, milk already has natural sugars, galactose and lactose. In fact, the galactose is a more simple form (monosaccharide) for the yeast to utilize than the white sugar (sucrose, a disaccharide) that I would normally add.
2. In a big bowl (because it will rise later) Beat egg YOLKS only, then add and mix in the milk/yeast mixture along with the vanilla:
3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar, and add-n-mix that into the wet mixture:
4. Now add the melted butter (can melt it in the microwave in the same glass dish you used earlier)
5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg WHITES only until they are firm peaks. Firm peaks should stand up on their own like this one in my bowl:
6. Then gently fold them into the other mixture until it is well incorporated but not overworked. Can you just see how fluffy it is!
**This makes it another great Saturday morning recipe... while it rises, you have the perfect opportunity to take a walk to the coffee shop and go for a morning stroll.