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Regula Ysewijn's Brusselse Wafels
This recipe is adapted from the first recipe for Brussels waffles published by Philippe Cauderlier in 1874. If you want the thick yeast-leavened Brussels waffle you remember from a trip to Belgium, you need to follow the recipe for Flemish waffles on the previous pages. Read about their history and the mix-up of their names on pages 30–31.
Brussels waffles are a treat saved for the first days of the new year. Traditionally my mum and dad and I, like so many Flemish families, would head to a famous tearoom in our town of Antwerp, situated at the corner of the high street and the Grand Place. We would have to queue for a table, and my dad would get nervous. As I remember it was always raining, and the tearoom was always too hot, too loud, too full, and smelling like wet carpet. But the thought of the waffle made me endure my father’s nerves and the hurdle to get to that table. The waffle, baked to a golden color, arrived crisp on the outside and, if done right, still doughy on the inside, dusted generously with confectioners’ sugar and finished with a dot of cold freshly whipped cream in each hole. As there is no sugar in the batter, the waffle benefits from the toppings; it is rather dull without them.
cup unsalted butter
cup whole milk