There was nothing the contemporaries of the Van Eyck brothers enjoyed more than a feast. When Candlemas was celebrated on 2 February, it was customary to bring candles to church, where they were blessed, and to eat pancakes. This was followed by waffles which were baked during Carnival. These festivities took place before the beginning of Lent.

Did you know? That sweet pancakes date back to antiquity? Greek physician Galen (129–199) described how wheat-flour pancakes were cooked in olive oil and sea salt. Honey was not only added to the dough, the pancakes were also drenched in honey when served.

Dinner is served: from sweet to spicy

Recipes for pancakes have been around for centuries. A 13th-century Andalusian cookery book mentions pancakes made from chickpea and rice flour, served with honey. Spicy pancakes were also popular at the time.

Said cookery book contains a recipe for aubergine pancakes with coriander and cinnamon. Baking pancakes between two heated metal plates is thought to go back at least as far in time. These flat and crisp wafers were called oublies in the late Middle Ages. To prepare a salty version, medieval cookery books advised to melt a slice of cheese between two sheets of dough or add grated cheese to the waffle mix. Adventurous gourmets will certainly appreciate this extra touch. Recipes in which wine or colourants were added to the dough make it clear that both pancakes and waffles were synonymous with celebration.

Get started

Golden coloured pancakes

Ingredients for 15 pieces:

  • 800 ml milk
  • 200 ml beet juice, herbal juice or turmeric milk
  • 500 g flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 30 g butter (molten)
  • pinch of salt and pepper


  1. Mix all ingredients and whisk in a bowl.
  2. Pass through a fine sieve.
  3. Cook the pancakes until golden brown in a frying pan.
  4. You can finish in all sorts of manners: hearty oven-baked pancakes can be filled with cheese and ham, or some finely cut pieces can be used as a garnish in soups or salads.

Liège waffles

Ingredients for 25 pieces:

  • 300 g pearl sugar
  • 30 g raisins
  • 50 g fresh yeast
  • 480 g flour
  • 15 g cinnamon powder
  • 150 g lukewarm buttermilk
  • 70 g honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 215 g salted butter

Utensils: food processor and waffle iron

  1. Dissolve the yeast and honey in the lukewarm buttermilk.
  2. Add the flour, cinnamon powder and eggs, and mix until the dough sticks to the dough hook.
  3. Loosen the dough and knead.
  4. Roll out the butter and rub the dough with it to prevent it from drying out.
  5. Allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes.
  6. Add the pearl sugar and raisins and mix thoroughly.
  7. Allow the dough to rise once again for 30 to 45 minutes.
  8. Divide into small balls weighing 60 g.
  9. Bake the Liége waffles until golden brown in a hot waffle iron.