If there is a Belgium word for pavlova then this should be it. Merveilleux names the new bakery on the upper east side, as well as their signature sweet, a tower of whipped cream wrapped around the delicate crunch of meringues and then rolled in rich chocolate shavings. An opera of excess. A treat that has nothing to hold on to, so fingers means it is over in a flash but forks will provide a fighting chance to further the friendship.
Tempting but not triumphant of the three flavors in offering was the speculoo, coming in third after white and dark chocolate. For me chocolate and Belgium have long been two words with winsome association, but speculoo sounds sans the confiture spectrum. In fact Specaloos are spicy European shortbreads, made with ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Crushed and sprinkled around creamy meringue, they would make a strange but interesting alternative. A disarming diva. If the fluffy chicken in the window is anything to go by, it’s worth a taste….