These desserts… you guys… they’re one of my favorites. When I was living in Paris and wanted a little snack, I would go to Aux Merveilleux de Fred and get a mini-sized one to munch on. Just 1.50€ and so much joy!!! Two rounds meringue with some well-whipped cream in between and on the outside, then rolled and tossed and sprinkled with all sorts of toppings… mostly shredded chocolate. Like light sweet sugar clouds, and surprisingly not overly sweet, the perfect balance of creamy with a slight slight crunch. YUMMM!!!!
This recipe is from my cookbook (pg 175), French Pastry Made Simple. Available everywhere books are sold 🙂 For a more in-depth explanation including meringues fixes (like what it means if they crack!), then check out the Meringue chapter (pg 169).
We did this recipe as a bake along this December as they really do look like delicious snowballs. You can view the replay here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CXwKcGilRV3/
Reprinted with permission from French Pastry Made Simple by Molly Wilkinson, Page Street Publishing Co. 2021. Photo credit: Joann Pai
Makes 15 individual sized cakes, or you can make two big rounds to make one big cake!
Storage: Best the day they are made. To make in advance, make the rounds of meringue several days before you plan to assemble them. These can be assembled up to one day in advance as well.
For the meringue:
- 4 large egg whites (not from a box or carton)
- 2/3cup (130 g) granulated sugar
- 1cup (120 g) powderedsugar
For the whipped cream icing:
- 3 cups (720 ml) heavy cream/heavy whipping cream, cold
- ¾ cup (90 g) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) full-fatmascarpone (or cream cheese), room temperature
To roll/sprinkle/cover each merveilleux, choose one or more of the following:
- About 5 oz (150 g) chocolate of choice (white, dark, milk..)
- Best-quality chocolate sprinkles
- About 1 cup (100 g) of whole cookies, such as Speculoos (Biscoff), crushed into crumbs
- About 1 cup (100 g) finely chopped toasted nuts
Preheat your oven to 200°F (90°C).
Make the Meringue:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, start whipping the egg whites on medium speed until they completely resemble foam.
Then, increase the speed to medium-high and very slowly add the granulated sugar, about a tablespoon (15 g) at a time.
Keep whipping, until it’s at stiff peak. This can take a total of 10 to 15 minutes to do!
Sift the powdered sugar over the whipped egg whites in two additions, gently folding in to combine. Try to keep as much air as possible in the egg whites.
Dab a little meringue in the corners of your baking sheet and press a piece of parchment paper on top.
Transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (10 to 12 mm; see chart, page xx) or cut to a large opening. Make small closed swirls to create thirty 2- to 2½-inch (5- to 6-cm) circles on the prepared baking sheet. You can also simply spoon the meringue onto parchment and smooth with the back of a spoon or knife too.
Bake for 2 hours. When the timer goes off, turn off the oven, resist the urge to open the door, and leave in the oven for at least 1 hour to cool.
Prepare Your Toppings
To shave the chocolate, simply use a vegetable peeler and run it along the edge of the chocolate bar, or process it in a food processor. Place the chocolate and the other toppings in separate large bowls and set aside.
Make the Whipped Cream Icing
Whip together the cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and mascarpone at medium-high speed until very thick, like a buttercream. This is beaten more than you would normally whip cream to pipe beautiful swirls on top of a cake.
Assemble the Merveilleux
Put a nice tablespoon-sized (15-ml) amount of the cream on top of one of the disks and sandwich another disk on top. Hold between your thumb and first fingers and ice around the sides.
Smooth with an offset metal spatula or butter knife. Then, roll or sprinkle with toppings and place on a flattened cupcake paper. Chill the bowl of whipped cream as often as you need to throughout the assembly.
Chill the finished merveilleux for about 30 minutes to firm up before serving.