A recipe for Gaufre de Bruxelles (Brussels Waffle) inspired by our visit to Historic Occoquan in Northern Virginia! These waffles have a light and airy texture with the help of yeast and beaten egg whites.
Chad’s parents watched Evan for the weekend a few weeks ago, so we took advantage and spent the evening walking around Historic Occoquan for the first time.
Occoquan is a small town in Virginia about 24 miles (39 kilometers) southwest of Washington D.C. There is parking available under the State Road 123 bridge and plenty of shops and dining within walking distance.
View of Historic Occoquan and the Occoquan River from State Road 123 Bridge.
Mom’s Apple Pie
We stopped by Mom’s Apple Pie to check out their fresh preservative-free pies and other baked goods (including autumn-themed cookies). You can also find wine, beer, gelato, and gourmet items.
There are additional locations in Leesburg and Round Hill, Virginia.
We especially enjoyed just walking along Mill Street to look at the variety of shops along with the beautiful waterfront townhomes.
Tastefully Yours (now closed) is a gourmet food market and cafe on Mill Street. They offer specialty items, wine, cheese, beer, chocolate truffles, infused olive oils, and gelato.
Chad got a bag of butter pecan coffee beans and I took home some blood orange infused olive oil.
Cock and Bowl
For dinner, we went to the Cock and Bowl, a small Belgian restaurant in the heart of Occoquan. It is a small restaurant built into an old house. There are 8 tables inside, 4 on each floor, plus an outside patio.
If you are wanting to eat at a peak time, I definitely recommend calling ahead. There is no room to wait inside the restaurant, but they will call when your table is ready.
We went early in the evening and did not have an issue. Cock and Bowl is also not well-equipped for small children. Well behaved dogs are allowed on the patio.
Chad had the special of the day, Pan-Seared Salmon with a Blood Orange Buerre-Blanc over Polenta. I ordered the Walloon Salad- baby greens and spinach tossed with a strawberry vinaigrette, tossed with mandarin oranges, candied pecans, and goat cheese and a side of Pommes Frites (Belgian Fries).
For dessert, Chad had the Vermont Belgian Waffle, yankee-style topped with butter and maple syrup. I went with the ganache style waffle, topped with warm Belgian chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Everything was absolutely delicious. The Pommes Frites were actually a highlight for both of us.
Looking for more posts on Northern Virginia?
- Nutella Latte and Northern Virginia
- Paletas Heladas de Galleta Oreo (Oreo Popsicles) and Woodbridge, Virginia
- Virginia Peanut Soup and Old Town Alexandria
Gaufre de Bruxelles (Brussels Waffle)
After trying the Belgian waffles at Cock and Bowl, I was excited to make my own at home. In Belgium, two popular types of waffles are the Gaufre de Bruxelles (Brussels Waffle, Brusselse Wafel) and the (Gaufre de Liège) Liege Waffle, plus many other variations depending on the region.
The Gaufre de Bruxelles is made with a yeast, and sometimes baking powder, batter and cooked in a rectangular iron. Along with the yeast, beaten egg whites are gently folded into the batter to really create a light, fluffy texture. Allow the mixture to rest until puffed and bubbly, at least 30 minutes and closer to 1 hour, before heating in the waffle iron.
I topped my waffle simply with a dusting of powdered sugar and whipped cream. The kids particularly enjoy sliced strawberries and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
A Few Tips
Take care when folding the egg whites into the waffle batter. You want to gently fold to keep the light and airy texture.
The vanilla sugar is optional, but really adds a wonderful light vanilla flavor. You can buy small packets of vanilla sugar in the European section of many larger supermarkets, but it is easy to make at home. Scrape out the seeds of one vanilla bean and mix well with 2 cups granulated sugar. Store in an airtight container with the scraped out vanilla beans. If not available, you can substitute with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
I used milk as the liquid in this recipe. Some recipes use half milk/half water or half milk/half sparkling water.
If the batter is too thick, whisk in a splash or two more of milk. If too thin, add a little more flour (be careful not to add too much or the waffles will toughen).
Make sure the waffle iron is heated thoroughly before adding the batter. Grease with butter as needed.
Want to serve the Gaufres de Bruxelles warm all at once? Preheat an oven to 250˚F (120˚C) and arrange the cooked waffles in a single layer on a baking sheet. Keep in the warm oven until all the batter is prepared.
The texture is best immediately after heating. Leftover Gaufres de Bruxelles can be frozen in a single layer until solid, then transferred to a freezer-safe bag. Bake straight from the freezer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and in a 350˚F (180˚C) oven until heated through, about 10 minutes.
This recipe was originally posted in November 2014 and updated September 2021.
Gaufre de Bruxelles (Brussels Waffle) Recipe
Adapted from The Hungry Belgian
Gaufre de Bruxelles (Brussels Waffle)
- 1 1/2 cups (355 milliliters) lukewarm milk 105-115˚F (40-46˚C)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
- Pinch salt
- 3 large eggs separated
- 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled, plus more for greasing the waffle iron
- In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over the lukewarm milk. Stir to combine, then allow to rest at room temperature until frothy, about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, vanilla sugar, and salt. Mix in the milk with frothy yeast and egg yolks, followed by the melted butter until smooth and just combined.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Lightly fold into the batter until no streaks remain.
- Cover and allow the batter sit at room temperature until puffed and bubbly, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Set waffle iron to high heat.
- Grease the heated waffle iron with melted butter. Spread the batter over the prepared waffle iron, about 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) per waffle. Heat until waffle is golden and crisp on outside. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Serve immediately with powdered sugar, whipped cream, chocolate, or fresh fruit.