While the Belgians are more popularly known globally for ‘the Belgian Waffle’, it’s not the only brunch item to look out for. A typical Belgian Breakfast, which consists of a piece of toast with a layer of jam, slice of cheese or a slice of cold cut meat, along with yoghurt cake topped by apricot coulis, is a common sight at Belgian morning tables. 

The Historical Beauty Of Belgian Breakfast

Belgium, famous for its Belgian chocolates, waffles and Belgian breakfast, is a small western european country located between Germany, France, and Netherlands. Due to its close proximity, Belgium has culinary influences from all these neighbouring states. It’s a popular saying that Belgian cooking takes its flavour from the French, and its portions from the German. True to the rumours, Belgian Breakfast, a delicious ensemble of Cramique, Yoghurt Cakes, Apricot Coulis and Blackberry Jam, is quite a feast. 

 Ingredients:

To prepare the Cramique / Belgian Breakfast Bread

  • 430g flour / 3 1/2 cups
  • 220g milk/ 1 cup
  • 85g butter / 5 1/2 tbsp
  • 1 egg 
  • 45g sugar / 3 tbsp 
  • 5g salt / 1 tsp
  • 250g raisins
  • 25g yeast  / 2 tbsp 
  • Egg and milk wash for top
  • Butter to toast
  • Blackberry jam
  • Gouda cheese
  • Cold cut ham

To prepare the Apricot sauce (coulis d'abricot)

  • Apricots
  • Sugar: to taste 
  • Butter: 25 gms / 2 tbsp
  • Salt : to taste

To prepare the Blackberry Jam

  • 1 cup Blackberries /  120 gms
  • 1 cup sugar / 120 gms

To prepare the Gâteau minute au yoghurt / Yoghurt Cake

  • 150g yoghurt : 1/2 cup
  • 4 eggs 
  • 300g sugar / 1 cup sugar
  • 450g flour / 1 1/2 cup 
  • 110ml oil / 7 tbsp 
  • 1/2tsp baking powder / 7 gms
  • Dried fruits to discretion 

 Method: 

Cramique / Belgian Breakfast Bread

  • Add yeast to lukewarm milk and let it dissolve. 
  • To this mixture, add sugar, butter and egg, and stir it well. 
  • Take flour in a bowl and add salt, and mix it till it comes together as a very soft dough. 
  • Cover the dough with cling film and keep it to rest for 10 mins. 
  • After the bread has risen well enough, knead the dough with a very scarcely floured surface.
  • Knead it till it stops sticking to your hands. Keep it again in a warm place for resting for 30 mins. 
  • After the waiting period, flatten the dough out on a surface and add soaked raisins. Now fold the dough lightly, making it like a package. 
  • Roll it up forming a log and then put it in a little Teflon bread pan and leave it to rise for 20 mins. 
  • Bake it for 40 mins in a preheated oven at 190 degrees. 

Apricot sauce (coulis d'abricot)

  • Blend some apricots in a bowl till it forms a puree, and add some water, sugar, butter and salt, and blend it again. 

Blackberry Jam

  • In a saucepan, cook blackberries and castor sugar on a high flame. Crush the blackberries lightly. Once the mixture reaches 105 degrees, your jam is ready.

Gâteau minute au yoghurt / Yoghurt Cake

  • Take four egg yolks in a bowl, add yoghurt, sugar, and blend them well. 
  • Add sieved flour and baking powder and mix it with a hand mixer. And, while still mixing it, add vegetable oil to the mixture. In this batter, fold in some dried fruits with a spatula.
  • Take 4 egg whites and whisk it till they reach firm peaks. The best way to find out whether its a stiff peak meringue is to turn the bowl upside down and if it doesn’t fall, the meringue is perfect.
  • Add 1/3 of the meringue and aerate the mixture with the egg white by whisking it inwards. Next, fold in the rest of the meringue in the mixture gently. 
  • Take a cupcake tray, put in rigid metal cups that have been oiled and fill them with the batter. Now bake them in a preheated oven at 240 degrees for 20 mins.

Belgians will typically lean for a slice of Gouda cheese or a  slice of cold ham for a companion to the toast, and a jam bottle is permanently stationed at a Belgian Breakfast table. Owing to the french influence, Belgians prefer freshly baked bread which can range from sweet to savoury options including croissants and rolls. Despite the elaborate affair, Belgian Breakfast is quite simple in its preparation, making this delicious affair beginner friendly.