Waffle like foods have been around for thousands of years. In ancient Greece, cooks roasted flat cakes between flat metal plates attached to long handles. Known as obelios, these early waffles were crisp unleavened cakes. Since sugar had not yet been developed, these ancient products would likely have been eaten with honey.
In time chemical leavening agents were added to the original obelios recipe to make these products lighter and fluffier. Other ingredients like butter, sugar, and vanilla were added.
During the 15th century, Dutch wafel cooks began grilling these cakes between metal plates that had been forged into a grid pattern. Not only were these cakes more visually appealing but the use of waffle grids required less batter and made this product even more crispy.
Although Dutch immigrants brought the waffle grid iron to the United States, it wasn’t until 1869 that a man named Cornelius Swartwout of Troy, New York, applied for a patent. This patent was for a more shallow product than the Dutch version.
As to why Dutch waffles are known as Belgian waffles, these products actually take their name from the Bel-Gem brand of waffle irons. This brand was promoted by a waffle vendor named Maurice Vermersch who was from Brussels, Belgium. Bel-Gem waffles were popularized in the United States after they debuted at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Over time these waffles came to be called “Belgian” waffles because their brand name, Bel-Gem sounds very much like “Belgian.”
Belgian waffles were further popularized by Frank Dorsa and his frozen Eggo waffles in 1953. The availability of frozen waffles meant that home cooks no longer needed waffle irons to produce these products. Instead of laboriously making a batter and producing waffles in an electric waffle maker, they could now simply pop a frozen product into a toaster to produce a crispy sweet breakfast food.
In 1972 Kellos bought Eggos and hired Leo Burnett, an advertising executive, to create the marketing catch phrase, “Let go of my Eggo!”
I remember eating these waffles as a child. Instead of having to make each waffle one at a time in an electric waffle maker, my parents liked the convenience of popping these frozen waffles into a toaster. Since we had two toasters, my parents could quickly toast four of these waffles at a time. The family waffle iron was subsequently put into storage and was eventually sold at a yard sale.
Having previously made a French toast candle as well as a few waffle container candles, this weekend I produced a mold for a Belgian waffle. The waffles pictured below right were from an Etsy purchased silicone mold vendor. Since these waffles came out smooth without any of the crusty finish that one would expect from a Belgian waffle, I improvised the appropriate appearance by literally painting the molded product with additional layers of wax.
Since the creation of these waffle candles was time consuming, I decided to make a silicone mold from an actual Belgian waffle. This is what I created.
This waffle candle was topped with mixed berries and toasted pecans prior to being drenched with a simulated maple syrup made from medium density candle gel. It was finished with a dusting of corn starch to simulate powdered sugar. This candle smells of pumpkin, toasted pecans, mixed berries, and maple syrup.
This candle was a lot easier assemble than the original container candle prototype which I no longer make. With less than two weeks prior to my projected launch date for opening Tasty-Candles as an on-line business, I won’t be able to make very many of these products especially since a good part of my attention has been given over to the production of hamburger candles.
I will likely build up a small inventory and release the candles for sale some time in early November. Part of the reason for the delay is that soy candles need a minimum of two weeks to cure. Starting tomorrow, any candles I produce between now and my opening day on October 23rd will have to be segregated from the candles that are ready for sale.
Since all of the candles I sell will have been appropriately aged, I will now have to separate all newly made candles by their production date so that I’m only selling ready to use products.