Maurice Vermesch baked these waffles (properly called Brussels waffles and, in Belgium, topped with just confectioners' sugar) at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, but only after he sold them at the 1964-65 New York fair did they soar in popularity in this country. Vermersch's daughter Mariepaule wouldn't divulge her family's recipe, but we think we've come very close. One tip she did reveal: Aunt Jemima self-rising flour produces a flavor that is the most like that of the original waffle.
- 1 3⁄4 cups self-rising flour, preferably Aunt Jemima brand
- 1 tsp. granulated sugar
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1 1⁄4 cups water
- 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 4-6 cups whipped cream
- 2 pints ripe, in-season strawberries, hulled and halved
- Confectioners' sugar
Heat an electric Belgian waffle iron until very hot.
Meanwhile, combine flour and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 1⁄4 cups water, egg yolks, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Whisk in melted butter. Beat egg whites in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy, 1–2 minutes, then increase speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute. Gently but thoroughly fold half the egg whites at a time into batter.
Pour about 1 cup of the batter (or enough batter to fill pockets in iron) into hot waffle iron; immediately lower waffle iron lid and cook until waffles are golden-brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Separate sheet of waffles into individual waffles. Repeat process with remaining batter.
To serve, put each hot waffle on a plate, top with a pile of whipped cream and strawberries, and sprinkle with some confectioners' sugar.