"If it ain't broke, don't fix it". That's what they say. But how about "If it ain't broke, make it better"? I prefer the latter way of thinking.
Wafels & Dinges is changing the way it's serving Liege waffles. It's simple. Since the day we've started the first NYC waffle truck in October last year, we've been serving prebaked Liege waffles. They were imported from an artisanal bakery in Belgium, near Liege. They were pretty good, and we got many compliments from our discerning customers. But we're going to set the bar a little higher for our selves (not to mention for current and future imitators). We've switched. WE ARE NOW BAKING OUR LIEGE WAFFLES FRESH IN THE TRUCK.
What should an educated Wafelette or Wafeloon know about this?
1) A freshly baked Liege is a VERY different animal that a traditional Brussels waffle or American Belgian waffle. It is made of a ball of very dense dough that is placed on the iron. Baking time is about 3-4 minutes. There is NO poring of batter involved here.
2) Those of you who are used to our prebaked waffles, you will notice that there is going to be a change in texture and look. The waffle will be a little more doughy, but it will also be more airy. Size may vary depending on how long the dough has been rising, but the weight of the waffle will always be the same. Also, your waffle will now have much more of that famous "caramelization" on the outside.
3) The Liege waffle is extremely hot when it comes of the iron. In fact, it is TOO HOT to eat. So we put them on a cooling rack and after about 5 minutes of cooling, they are perfect temperature to eat.
4) Because the baking time is about 4 minutes, we bake throughout the day (no one likes to wait that long). So it may be that the waffle you get comes for a stack of waffles that has already cooled down. In that case we warm it up for about 30 seconds. This is the important part: It's very normal that the Liege waffle is warmed up - in any waffle shop in Belgium you will see a stack of ready waffles. The important part is that it was baked fresh minutes or hours before. The Liege is so dense and rich that it will hold for even a full day. That's just how the Liege waffle works. Don't get confused with what you know about traditional batter based waffles - the rules are not the same! All of the practices we follow are now 100% consistent with your corner waffle place in Brussels, Leuven, Liege or Antwerp.
So, what is the only place in NYC where you can get both the Liege and the real Brussels waffle freshly baked?
Right. Just follow your nose to a heavenly aroma. See you there...