HVD A26: Brussels Waffle Iron
After years of fantasizing about the A26, I decided to take the plunge and import one. Beautiful, isn’t it?
I originally put in the order on May 20th. It took a bit of back and forth with HVD to pin down the payment and shipping details. It took a little bit longer for the iron to make its trans-Atlantic and trans-continental voyages. The biggest wait may have been for it to clear customs. But as of yesterday, June 29th, I’m the proud owner of what I affectionately call the Rolls-Royce of waffle irons.
There may be no finer piece of waffle engineering. During a test run this morning, I set the dial (analog) to 180ºC. After a lengthy warm-up, I took a digital reading: 180.7º. Of the three other professional irons I own, none are so precise. It’s everything I hoped it would be.
So I have a few goals with this iron. The first is to master several variants of the Brussels waffle: period-correct traditional, modern traditional, and idealized. The latter of those is about me having carte blanche to produce not just the most delicious and texturally pleasing incarnation of the Brusselse wafel, but to form the foundation for future recipes — much as my Classic Waffle Recipe is the bedrock of my work in American waffles. My second goal is of course to develop an ever-evolving catalog of new recipes. There are so many ideas I’ve had that I’ve never wanted to do in American-style irons. With this A26, I’m ready. The third and final aim with the iron here is to recalibrate all of my existing non-Liège recipes. Much as I love them as they are, I want them formulated on the gold standard of irons — the one with international adoption. I doubt the ratios will change so much as the times and temperatures shift.
With this baby, I finally get to pick up the torch of the oubloyeurs and breathe life into traditions that have been neglected for nearly 150 years. If that sounds pretentious and grandiose, maybe it is, but I can’t help but be excited.