One of this year’s crowd favorite’s from Disney’s Epcot International Food And Wine Festival was the Belgium Marketplace.Why? Well, for starters, Belgium makes crazy awesome beer.
In the wonderful world of Walt Disney, where food can be ‘from’ any country they like, they also chose to capitalize on American’s current obsession with waffles, and behold, the Belgian Waffle is on the menu!
Although the history of the Belgian Waffle is claimed to have started at the Brussels World Fair in 1958, that was actually a different type of waffle: the Brussels waffle. It is crispy and hard on the outside, because Belgians use yeast instead of baking powder in their waffles.
In America, Belgian waffles debuted at the Century 21 Exposition (also known as the Seattle World’s Fair) in Seattle, WA in 1962. They hit the New York World’s Fair a few years later, and then a guy named Maurice Vermersch (from Brussels, Belgium) started a brand called the Bel-Gem Waffle. Vermersch changed the name when he realized that Americans not only were pronouncing it wrong, but they also weren’t particularly good at geography.
Try this recipe from Disney versus the Original World’s Fair Bel-Gem Waffle recipe, and tell us which recipe you liked better!
Epcot’s Belgian Waffles with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream
Serves 4 (makes 8 4×4-inch waffles)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon dry active yeast
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons beer
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 stick butter, melted
Four Berry Compote
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon red wine (we’d recommend port)
- 1/2 cup apple, orange, or cranberry juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
Directions for waffles: Sift flour into a large bowl. Add sugar and yeast. Create a well in the center of mixture. Add water, milk, beer, egg, and vanilla extract. Stir until mixture is just blended. (Lumps will dissolve overnight) Add melted butter, and stir until just incorporated. Refrigerate batter overnight. Bring mixture to room temperature. Ladle waffle batter into a Belgian waffle maker; cook according to manufacturer’s instructions. Set aside and keep warm.
Directions for berry compote: Combine cornstarch and red wine in a small bowl, stirring until cornstarch is dissolved. Set aside. Combine fruit juice, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Add cornstarch mixture, blueberries, and blackberries. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, until berries are softened and mixture is thickened. Add strawberries, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and gently fold in raspberries. Serve warm over Belgian waffles with whipped cream on top.
Photo credit: Ralph Daily, Flickr