Sunday, April 3, 2011

Around the World with Contessa - Belgium Part One

While I was researching more information about Belgian cuisine, I learned that it's often being overshadowed despite the fact that its a nation full of gourmands. With the neighboring countries like France and Germany, Belgian cuisine tends to be pushed aside. For many of us who don't know, this country is not only famous for it's chocolates, waffles, endives, but also for its mussels and frites (French-fried potatoes, it's their traditional dish actually) and oh beer! And who doesn't like the sound of those? That's why I had to break this post in two parts simply because I got a little over board with my Belgian gastronomic adventures. He! He! I could not just make waffles and leave it at that....

On this first post, I will share with you that is something more familiar...Belgian waffles! In Belgium, the natives eat waffles for dessert and not much of a breakfast dish. But since B and I are American piglets (:-), we also had to have them for breakfast:-). Unlike the American waffle batter, Belgian waffle is based on a batter raised with yeast. It's thick in appearance but its light and fluffy in the inside. Just how I would like to eat my waffles....

Topped with fresh bananas drizzled with pure maple syrup. 


I searched everywhere for an authentic Belgian waffle recipe and I came across the recipe of Thomas Degeest, who is considered to be the waffle master. Supposedly he went to Belgium to learn from the master waffle makers and perfected his own waffle recipes. I found his Classic Belgian waffles recipe from food and wine website, which you can click here

I just had to include this picture in here. Whenever I buy bacon (which is very seldom), I usually splurged on the freshly cut thick slab from the fresh meat counter in Whole Foods. I would just bake it in a 400 degree oven and brushed with maple syrup. Just like candy. B and I usually fight at who gets the last piece. lol!

I love how the batter has a thicker, doughy consistency. Almost bread like. 


For dessert, I just topped it with vanilla ice cream and home made Belgian chocolate fudge sauce, which was also Thomas Degeest's recipe here

Don't you just love that I posted what we had for dessert before our main course? I must have eaten like four waffles this weekend and I will be for sure paying for it in the gym. Oh well! Such is life:-) ....stay tuned for Part Deux! 

Bisous, Contessa

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