NEW! Google Custom Search

Loading

Merveilleux

Michael_P.'s picture

Merveilleux (post #61379)

*
One of our customers at work is looking for a dessert she always enjoyed at home in Belgium. She says it was called Mereilleux and that's where googling becomes pointless. It means marvelous, and the search turns into a real big drag. The customer is vague in her description of the dessert, but we understand it is one of those vertical desserts. Fron a drawing done by the customer: It starts with a layer of cake, then a layer of meringue, a layer of whipped cream, another layer of meringue, a last layer of whipped cream, and then fresh fruit on top. The sides of this tower are then coated with chocolate shavings. It doesn't sound very appealing to me. Or logical. The higher ups are looking at me to make this exclusively for this customer. Fine, but tell me exactly what you want me to make. Does anyone have any idea what i'm talking about here? I will also post this at pastrychef.com(do I put a period here, or what?) I'll let you know if I get an answer, so y'all can make it at home. Thanks

kai_'s picture

(post #61379, reply #1 of 33)

*
i tell me exactly what you want me to make

No kidding! Sounds kinda like the (non) instructions the bosses gave you re the catering event. Wing it, Michael, you'll do fine! (Didn't know meringue could handle a whipped cream layer.)

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #61379, reply #2 of 33)

*


something like this?

Michael_P.'s picture

(post #61379, reply #3 of 33)

*
Hehehe. Those apricots? look like egg yolks to me. The dessert i'm trying to find is supposed to be in the shape of an upright cylinder. I'm sure the recipe i'm looking for is someone's "creation", so why am I wasting my time with this?

Cooking_Monster's picture

(post #61379, reply #4 of 33)

*
It sounds like you already have a good idea where to start. A layer of genoise, a meringue disc (I'm assuming she meant crunchy meringue), whiped cream, meringue etc... Most likely there was some sort of alcohol in the cream and in the soaking syrup on the cake. You also need to know what sort of fruit was on top. I'll look and see if I can find anything like it in any of my books.

CLS's picture

(post #61379, reply #5 of 33)

*
Michael, I checked with my french pastry tome (Yves Thuries) and the closest I could come to that name was a pastry called "Miraveau", which is a sweet tart crust, topped with a baba dough into which has been incorporated macerated candied fruit and soaked in kirsch syrup, topped by Italian meringue, the coated in white fondant. Sounds disgustingly sweet to me, but Europeans tend to like very sweet desserts.

Perhaps the pastry she is asking for is a variation of this "classic".

I used to HATE when a customer would ask for something vague like this and they expected me to make it! Unfortunately, it happened all too often at a country club. The patrons loved to ask for "special" things just for them, and then gloat about how the chef would create things for them. Ugh! Glad I'm not doing it anymore.

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #61379, reply #6 of 33)

*
Dacquoise

Glenys_'s picture

(post #61379, reply #7 of 33)

*
Oui.

Cooking_Monster's picture

(post #61379, reply #8 of 33)

*
i but Europeans tend to like very sweet desserts

I know a more than a few Europeans who would disagree with this. In fact, they'd claim American deserts are sickly sweet.

Cooking_Monster's picture

(post #61379, reply #9 of 33)

*
Yes, but what variation?

Glenys_'s picture

(post #61379, reply #10 of 33)

*
Well unless it was defined as chocolate, it sounds as if it was a simple almond meringue layer, plain genoise, we know there was whipping cream but we don't know if there was buttercream. I usually make lemon dacquoise cake, dusted with the crushed trimmings of the meringue, but chocolate shavings would do nicely. I use lemon rum syrup for saturating the genoise, but it could be a plain liqueur or brandy. Sometimes I make individual ones- about 8 cm across, cutting the genoise out with a cookie cutter. Pipe the meringues onto parchment with cirlces drawn in place, usually a bit larger for neat trimming, but not necesary.

CLS's picture

(post #61379, reply #11 of 33)

*
I know that's what they would say, but I had some seriously sweet desserts when I was in Europe, not to mention the "classics" that I had to make in culinary school.

IMO, we are pretty nearly the same when it comes to sweet tooths.

Cooking_Monster's picture

(post #61379, reply #12 of 33)

*
I respectfully disagree, at least with regards to Germany and France. I can't comment about other countries.

Wolverine's picture

(post #61379, reply #13 of 33)

*
no disrespect intended to any here, but - ALL of this stuff sounds disgustingly sweet to me!

There CM - have I redeemed the Americans? ;-)

Wolvie - the woman who likes "not so sweet" desserts!

kai_'s picture

(post #61379, reply #14 of 33)

*
i the woman who likes "not so sweet" desserts!

Add me to that list. I also can't imagine how graceful it would be to try to cut/bite into something w/layers of semi-firm meringue w/gooey stuff inbetween, not to mention if it's surrounded w/perpendicular pieces of chocolate.

Marie-Louise_'s picture

(post #61379, reply #15 of 33)

*
Yeah, I was wondering about that, too. Phyllo appetizers are bad enough!

annalisa's picture

(post #61379, reply #16 of 33)

*
You are quite correct Cooking Monster (says this real newbie). While German desserts look (and are) quite decadent, the richness comes from cream -- lots and lots of high butterfat cream -- but very little sugar. Germans are horrified by North American super-sweet cakes. 'Americanized' European recipes are something else altogether and you shouldn't count them into the equation.

Glenys_'s picture

(post #61379, reply #17 of 33)

*
Once assembled, they stand to mature, and the meringue softens slightly and as usual, the genoise softens and "bonds" the layers together. If it's aged overnight, a dacquoise slices like a dream.
Most of you know I'm not a cake person but in a dessert course, this once cake covers buttercream, genoise, syrups, meringue and sends them off in one completed dessert. Usuall I make the lemon version, so they also make lemon curd. It does work well for a lesson.

kai_'s picture

(post #61379, reply #18 of 33)

*
In case anyone else didn't know what a dacquoise was:

"A classic dacquoise consists of two layers of a meringue filled with an egg-yolk-based buttercream. Often, the layers are of a meringue "japonais," which means with ground nuts added; you can use blanched almonds or hazelnuts (my favorite). While this dacquoise is based on layers of meringue japonais, it is held together with a sour cream ganache: a blend of sour cream and milk and dark chocolates. I find the combination of hazelnut meringue and sour cream ganache to be spectacular! Please use the best chocolates you can find.

You will need two large baking sheets (about 17" by 12") for the meringue, as well as baking parchment with which to line the sheets. You'll also need a corrugated cardboard cake circle (or something similar) that is 10" in diameter, and an oven that can maintain a low temperature for a long period of time (check yours with a thermometer--some ovens have trouble with this). While the meringues cannot be made on a humid day, they can be made well ahead and stored airtight at room temperature. This is best served about 2 to 4 hours after completion, when the meringues will still have much of their crispness. Though it can be served for several days after it is made, the meringues will no longer be as crisp. Do not freeze this dacquoise."
http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/ilc/0499/dacquoise.html for the recipe.

Glenys_'s picture

(post #61379, reply #19 of 33)

*
Kai, even with our humidity, the thin layers of meringue baked off for this use are fine, even on a rainy day.

Michael_P.'s picture

(post #61379, reply #20 of 33)

*
i cut/bite into something w/layers of...

Exactly what I meant when I called it illogical. How would this be eaten? Is it disassembled first? Do the architectural dessert etiquette police have anything to add?

Michael_P.'s picture

(post #61379, reply #21 of 33)

*
Wow. I don't know what to say. I never expected to come back and find so many responses! Because of your advice, I can now sit the customer down and find out what she is really expecting. Previously, i'd only been given written discriptions and drawings. Today I found another note that just says "chocolate cylinder". I think this is going to be a long, drawn-out affair...

And now I am hellbent on doing this pastry. I'll keep you posted; And i'll probably have a few more questions, too.

While i'm dealing with an ill-timed and debilitating bout of holiday cheer, i'd like to wish my family at Cook's Talk a Happy Holiday Season. I love you guys.

Glenys_'s picture

(post #61379, reply #22 of 33)

*
Michael, I would do very small individual cakes, as I mentioned before. I don't recall you mentioning the yield, but if you do a sheet or two of genoise and pipe out the discs of meringue, the assembly, decoration and service would be a dream. If they were 4-6cm wide and 6-8 cm high, that would be generous (I'd be aiming at the more diminuitive presenation). Once aged, they'll be tender enough to cut with a fork but if she's Belgian, she might own dessert knives. That would be fun.

kai_'s picture

(post #61379, reply #23 of 33)

*
I don't know if a variation on this would work or not, laying these strips up against the edges. You've gotta check this picture LOL:

http://www.salon.com/march97/food/surreal970326.html

"Bacon"

10 ounces good quality white chocolate

10 ounces good quality milk chocolate

NO LESS THAN 3 HOURS BEFORE SERVING:

1. In a double boiler, over simmering water, melt approximately two-thirds of the white chocolate and two-thirds of the milk chocolate together. Blend well.

2. Once melted, pour onto wax paper into the general shape of strips of bacon. Allow to cool in the refrigerator until semi-hard (approximately 20 minutes), then use a sharp paring knife to square off the edges.

3. Clean out the double broiler, than reheat. This time, melt only the white chocolate. Dip the end of a chop stick, or a similar object, into the melted chocolate, and paint lines on the "bacon."

4. Repeat the process with the milk chocolate, until "bacon" looks real.

If you really want to go overboard (as I did), wait until the bacon is half hardened, then place a pencil or two under the wax paper to give it a shriveled look.

Cooking_Monster's picture

(post #61379, reply #24 of 33)

*
Like Glenys said, it slices very easily once it's sat together for a few hours. The meringue softens.

Cooking_Monster's picture

(post #61379, reply #25 of 33)

*
i he woman who likes "not so sweet" desserts!

Count me in that category too.

ashleyd_'s picture

(post #61379, reply #26 of 33)

*
And you are correct. Europeans (all) know the difference between "rich" and "sweet".

Michael_P.'s picture

(post #61379, reply #27 of 33)

*
i If they were 4-6cm wide and 6-8 cm high, that would be generous (I'd be aiming at the more diminuitive presenation).

Judging by the customer's drawing and it's depiction of the fruit on top, it is quite a bit larger. And I am still haunted by the words "chocolate cylinder".

i Once aged, they'll be tender...

Ah, my next question: Optimum storage conditions and times between assembly and serving?

I'll post any final questions after I find out what the client really wants. And maybe pictures of the finished product... Thank you all for your help. I greatly appreciate it.

Glenys_'s picture

(post #61379, reply #28 of 33)

*
Although the components can be made days ahead, the assembly should be done one day ahead to set and meld together. The meringues can be dried further in a the residual heat of a warm oven overnight, held until needed, but you'll be the judge of the humidity where you are. If the japanois meringue is about 1/2"-5/8" thick, it will soften in the layering but still add a bit of crispness. As far as the cylinder goes, I actually have some French stainless steel tower(tube) moulds that are 5cm wide and high, but when they're sitting on a plate they look taller than wide (get some PVC pipe cut at the hardware store, which is what most cooks use for applications without heat). With a mould, it's easier to stack and hold a taller shape, without the mould I'd give yourself a tiny bit more width to prevent toppling. Just using this mould as an example, if you added fruit and a piped tower of cream on top, this little dessert would be the perfect portion (at least as we recognize it) and would set nicely. Hope that helps Michael. Keep it small, elegant and serve on a nice large white plate, with a nice plate garnish from your squeeze bottles.

kai_'s picture

(post #61379, reply #29 of 33)

*
i The sides of this tower are then coated with chocolate shavings.

This sounds so difficult! They either have to be big enough to pat on, or something--can't imagine rolling this.

But, I will guarantee that if it tastes wonderful, your customer will be delighted.

I was reminded of this thread againt tonight when I saw a dessert being composed w/layers of cake/filling/etc., then surrounded by a chocolate cylinder (made by spreading on something, and molding around it (I saw the seam). Then it got even more ridiculous. Something flattish on top, then ice cream on top of that. Gimme a break; I'd have to remove the choc cylinder to get to the inner layers. It's hard to cut through high choc w/out having it crack and fly all over. Although, perhaps it is very soft and smooth. Now, that would be nice.

Glenys_'s picture

(post #61379, reply #30 of 33)

*
We haven't heard back from Michael. Hope he survived the experience.