November 29, 2013 Paris France Europe

My Latest Discovery: Au Merveilleux de Fred, Paris

Frédéric Vaucamps is the creator of  Merveilleux. Have you heard about these little round sweets? Just imagine a meringue coated in chocolate whipped cream covered with shavings of dark chocolate. This trip to Paris, I came across these little marvelous wonders by coincidence - a light, melt-in-the-mouth meringue that's light with a touch of finesse...
Walking through the alleys leading to Passy Plaza in the Sixteenth district of Paris; on the corner of a narrow street is "Au Merveilleux de Fred", a small boutique filled with smiling women preparing round pieces of pastry. People were standing in line for their turn to buy some if these small pastry products. They have definitely caught my attention.
I learned later on that "Merveilleux" is a cake known to be created in France in the 18th century:
The Merveilleux is a confectionery lightness is only equaled by that of the Précieux and the Extravagants under the Directory regime at the end of the 18th century. Meringues coated in whipped cream, they are a traditional recipe of the north of France and Flanders. Often decried, sometimes forgotten, overlooked from time to time, Frédéric Vaucamps succeeded in bringing back their former glory by enhancing the recipe from 1985.
Welcome to the world of Belgian pastries, including the Merveilleux, or “Marvelous.” These pastries are made with a light meringue base coated with fresh whipped cream and topped with another meringue, more whipped cream, and shavings of smooth white or dark chocolate.
On display are three dimensions of the Merveilleux. A small bite size, the normal size and big cakes for parties of six persons and more. I ordered one of each flavor and went running back home to taste them fresh.
Each merveilleux is layers of croquet meringue and lightly sweetened whipped cream, and comes in just three flavors: chocolate, coffee, and speculoos biscuit.
The shop has a whimsical old-fashioned feel to it, with the touch of humor that you would expect from the person who named it. In the window, young women laugh and chat as they coat snowball-sized meringues with whipped cream before rolling them in chocolate shavings or crystalized coffee.
Frédéric Vaucamp, trained at Lenôtre, before opening his first meringue shop in Lille, home to the sugar-filled gaufre and the cramique, a brioche studded with raisins or chocolate and topped with crunchy sugar. He has had a Paris presence for the past two years, first in the outer reaches of the 15th arrondissement and since last November in the chic 16th.
The Merveilleux: meringue, chocolate whipped cream coated with shavings of dark chocolate
The Incroyable: meringue, speculoos biscuit whipped cream coated with shaved white chocolate
The Impensable: meringue, coffee whipped cream coated with crystallized coffee meringue
Tasting notes:
  • The cakes are fresh, better eaten cold
  • Even though a meringue cake, they are perfectly baked with no eggs aftertaste
  • Super light, the ingredients are not heavy on the stomach
  • Inside are two flu meringues with a hollow bottom. They crumble under your teeth giving pleasant textures
  • The meringues crumble into little tiny pieces while the cream hovers around your palate flowed by the aftertaste of the external flavored envelop
  • The ball shaped Merveilleux is covered with creme
  • Chocolate sparkles, coffee or speculoos make of the envelop a mouthwatering creation
Three flavors: White with speculoos, coffee and chocolate. Just close your eyes and feel each one of the ingredients while you moan with joy. I loved these light cakes which drives you to eat three at a time. I couldn't stop...





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