I remember Sunday afternoons at my grandparents in Leuven, my hometown in Belgium. I must have been at most 9 or 10 years old. We used to share the traditional afternoon snack, always in a festive atmosphere. My siblings and I were so happy to be able to choose, in the old neighborhood pastry shop, the homemade pastry of our choice that would accompany our roars of laughter. The choice was always obvious: it would be a «Merveilleux».
I looked forward to the moment when my spoon would scoop the first layer of whipped cream, which delicately draped the pastry and highlighted the unique flavor of the fine shavings of powerful dark chocolate. Ah! The light and crunchy meringue that mixes with the subtle taste of the airy whipped cream, married with the character of the chocolate… The light texture coupled with the power of the taste, was a real and profound pleasure…
For as long as I can remember, this dessert, which cradled my childhood, accompanies me. Especially since these years, where in my father’s restaurant in Brussels, I applied myself to carefully follow the ancestral recipe to make the Merveilleux. For the gourmand guests, a good meal could not end without the wonderful sweetness.
Today (or 30 years later), I would like to share with the world this unique sensation. I wish to introduce the Merveilleux to all lovers of both light and refined pastries. Seeing the number of shops selling sweets and pastries in New York, one can only think that there must be many gourmands (and gourmets) in town.
The shop in Manhattan is designed to present the Merveilleux in a different light, and display it with traditional accents of Northern Europe, and colors reminiscent of the sky of my country.
Everyday our pastries will be freshly made on site in our artisan workshop. And for everyone’s viewing pleasure, the Merveilleux receives its finishing touches before the whole world, as an amazing and delicious spectacle.
We start with a light and fluffy meringue as a base, coated with fresh whipped cream; another meringue is then placed delicately on top, then again a little bit of whipped cream is added and then everything is coated with shavings of high quality white or dark chocolate or speculos, a traditional Belgium cinnamon shortcrust biscuit.
As the seasons go by and according to desires, other varieties of Merveilleux will be offered, all more delicious and original than the others. Among the various and typically Belgian sweet delicacies, there are already whispers that artisan delights will come from Europe, such as the Cramique, the craquelin, the Verviers Cake, the Cougnou, and the Couque made with butter… but also homemade small choux and Belgium waffles.
In New York, Belgium is already well represented, especially with Belgian waffles and Belgian chocolate, which no longer need to build their reputation. And now, the Merveilleux comes to complete perfectly the gourmet pallet offered to New Yorkers.
Doesn’t the sound of the name “Merveilleux”, which means “marvelous” in English, make you want to discover a different universe, sophisticated, delicious… a delicacy to slowly savor or to devour? For all these good reasons, the shop “Ô Merveilleux” opens its doors to an accessible elegant and gourmet experience.
The Merveilleux is available in different colors and flavors. In honor of the history of Belgium, each Merveilleux bears with dignity the name of a Belgian queen: Louise-Marie, Marie-Henriette, Elisabeth, Astrid, Fabiola, Paola, Mathilde… At the Royal Palace in Brussels and on every Belgian table, the Merveilleux is being savored with nobility. Tradition and modernity coexist beyond the oceans. Isn’t this “Merveilleux”?
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