Chef Ludo Lefebvre's Secret to Perfect Belgian Waffles
In the latest episode of Ludo à la Maison, Chef Ludo Lefebvre tackles a brunch staple: Belgian waffles ("Trust me, this recipe is 100 percent Belgian," Lefebvre says, "because my grandma was from Belgium.") In fact, the French chef's grandma used to whip up Belgian waffles for him as a "goûter," or after-school snack—in France, they're more of a midday treat than a breakfast food. (That's not to say Lefebvre is opposed to breakfast waffles, he just prefers them savory. "With ham, with eggs, with cheese, it's good!" he says. Although, he does add, "I don't know why in America we do waffle with chicken. Interesting."
The recipe fits in with the whole theme of this season, which is to explore culinary traditions from other countries—specifically, ones that are part of Lefebrve's own DNA. The chef took a 23andMe test (the company is sponsoring his show) to gain some insight into his heritage, and he found that, in addition to being French and Belgian, he's British, Italian, and German.
But back to those waffles! The ingredients and prep techniques are fairly simple, but getting them up to grandma-standards is all about attention to detail, as well as patience. Note how slowly Lefebrve adds water to his yolks as he whisks the mixture, how carefully he melts the unsalted butter, and how he stops whipping his egg whites just as they reach the perfect degree of fluffiness. After everything gets folded into one big batch of batter, he lets it rest in the fridge for an hour (although, you can leave it in overnight if you want to prep for the next day's brunch).
Now, the important question: How do you know when your waffles are done? According to the chef, "you're on your own," although he cites five minutes as a typical waffle iron wait time. Whenever they're golden brown, you're good to go.