Belgian waffles are a delicious staple on any restaurant’s Sunday brunch menu. Perhaps you’ve been to a buffet brunch and saw the chefs making waffles on a special appliance. You can purchase that same type of equipment for your household without paying expensive restaurant prices.
When you own your own Belgian Waffle Maker, every morning can be a Sunday Brunch Belgian Waffle day in the comfort of your own home.
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A Brief History of the Belgian Waffle
The Belgian Waffle earned worldwide exposure in 1958 at the Expo in Brussels, Belgium. The special waffles gained popularity in the United States after being sold at the New York World’s Fair in 1964. They were served with whipped cream and strawberries and sold for a dollar each at the World Fair in Flushing, New York.
The recipe is based on the Brussels waffle, but at the time, most Americans couldn’t remember that Brussels was the capital of Belgium, so the name was changed to “Bel-gum.” People eventually started calling it the “Belgian waffle,” and that is what it is known as today.
Difference Between Belgian and Regular Waffles
Believe it or not, Belgian waffles aren’t the only kind of waffles! They are the most popular, sure, but there are also regular waffles and a variation of the waffle for every country.
The difference between Belgian waffles and regular waffles are the depth and width of the waffle, as well as the texture. Belgian waffles are made in special Belgian waffle irons that make deeper pockets in the waffle, a perfect place to hold extra syrup and butter. A regular waffle iron is used to make waffles that are smaller and thinner.
Belgian waffles are made using a special yeast-based recipe that results in a fluffier, lighter waffle. Some waffle recipes call for baking soda, but Belgian waffle mixes use eggs and are best stored overnight, allowing the yeast to rise.
Key Features to Look for in Belgian Waffles
Not all waffle irons – or even Belgian waffle irons – come with the same features. You will need to decide which add-ons are most important to you and fit in your budget.
Most restaurants use the Belgian waffle iron that flips over, making it easier to get the waffle out. The flip waffle irons are either non-stick or require the use of non-stick spray to allow the waffle to easily slide off the iron griddles without breaking apart. Waffle irons that don’t flip work just as well, but they can be messier and need more clean-up.
Some Belgian Waffle makers come equipped with timers, which are especially helpful if you’re a busy parent multi-tasking cooking breakfast and getting yourself or your kids ready for the day. Instead of the smell of a burnt waffle being your timer, the beep-beep sound lets you know your waffle is ready.
Depending on the waffle iron, multiple waffles can be cooked at once, instead of one at a time. This allows everyone in the family to eat at the same time.
Why Are Flip Waffle Makers Better?
Flip waffle irons evenly distribute the waffle batter for a professional-looking waffle that cooks completely on each side. Belgian waffles are supposed to be fluffy on the inside, and a little crunchy on the outside and the flip waffle irons achieve this easier than the standard waffle irons.
Many of the flip waffle makers can be stored vertically on the kitchen counter, saving room and giving the kitchen a streamlined look without clunky appliances everywhere.
Both flip waffle irons and standard waffle irons can be used to make waffles, but flip waffle makers are easier and more efficient.
Can You Use Pancake Mix for Belgian Waffles?
Yes, you absolutely can use pancake mix to make Belgian waffles, with a few adjustments to the recipe. Pancakes and waffles might seem very different from one another, but their recipes are quite similar.
Belgian waffles are meant to be light and fluffy, which requires you to add a little more oil and eggs into the pancake batter if you’re using it to make waffles. As mentioned above, some people choose to use baking powder instead, but the waffles won’t be as airy if you choose that route.
Breakfast or Dessert
While the Belgian waffle is typically thought of as a breakfast food, it can also be served as an after-dinner dessert. Topped with powdered sugar and bananas or strawberries, the Belgian waffle offers a sweet follow-up to a healthy meal. Or with just syrup and fruit, it can be a great way to start the morning.