The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Belgian pearl sugar for Liège waffles

Janet Yang's picture
Janet Yang

Belgian pearl sugar for Liège waffles

What are the characteristics of Belgian pearl sugar? There are conflicting descriptions on the Internet. Almost all agree that Swedish pearl sugar doesn't work: "Doesn't soften" and "too small."

Some maintain that the Belgian pearl sugar made by Lars Own is merely a larger version of Swedish sugar and still lacks the proper cooking qualities, staying rock-like inside the waffle.

Other brands also proclaim that their pearl sugar doesn't melt—but if it doesn't melt, how can it produce the characteristic caramelization on the outside of the waffle? 

One brand makes the conflicting claims that their sugar gets soft and stays crunchy.

Some people mention the crunch of the sugar under tooth as they eat a waffle. I've never encountered crunchy sugar in Liège waffles. They might be referring to sugar that oozes out, gets heated by the iron to the crack stage, then hardens as the waffle cools. At any rate, the sugar inside the waffle should not stay hard through the baking.

What is the size of Belgian pearl sugar? I've been making my own low-tech version and am not sure how large the pieces should be. I'm guessing about 6 mm (just under ¼ inch).