This elegant dark chocolate merveilleux with honey and lavender cream can be served at your next (tea) party.
This is a recipe for Dark Chocolate Merveilleux with Honey and Lavender. Merveilleux are little meringue cakes that are filled with a slightly sweetened whipped cream and coated in dark, dark chocolate shavings.
Two pale and crisp meringues are filled with a lavender and honey infused mascarpone cream (that’s also studded with flecks of vanilla bean) then coated in textured shavings of dark chocolate. They’re not too sweet, perfectly light. If you don’t have the lavender on hand, omit the infusion step, or simply replace it with something else (cardamom or espresso would work perfectly!). They’re excellent served alongside a cup of strong milky coffee or tea.
For the merveilleux:
- 165 grams egg whites
- 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 200 grams confectioners’ icing sugar, sifted
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
For the cream:
- 50 grams confectioners’ icing sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried culinary lavender
- 700 <g class="gr_ gr_99 gr-alert gr_spell gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="99" data-gr-id="99">millilitres</g> heavy cream
- 50 grams honey
- 125 grams mascarpone
- seeds from 1 vanilla bean pod
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon lavender water optional and depending on taste
- 500 grams 70% dark chocolate
For the merveilleux:
- Pre-heat the oven to 135 C (275 F). Line two large baking trays with parchment paper. Set them aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt on medium speed until the mixture is just beginning to reach soft peaks, about 3 to 4 minutes. Set the mixer speed to medium-low and add in half of the <g class="gr_ gr_100 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_disable_anim_appear Grammar multiReplace" id="100" data-gr-id="100">confectioners</g> sugar. Whisk until just combined then add <g class="gr_ gr_96 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_disable_anim_appear Grammar only-del replaceWithoutSep" id="96" data-gr-id="96">in </g>the remaining half of the sugar. Add in the vanilla bean extract then increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whisk until the mixture forms a stiff, thick and glossy meringue.
- Fit a piping bag with a large round tip then fill it with the meringue mixture. Pipe the meringue into (5 cm (2 <g class="gr_ gr_97 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_disable_anim_appear Grammar multiReplace" id="97" data-gr-id="97">inch</g>) round and 2.5 cm (1 inch) high) circles on the baking trays, making sure to space them evenly apart. You should get about 18-20 circles out of the mixture and fit 9-10 per tray.
- Bake, for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the meringues are crisp when touched. Turn off the heat and let the meringues dry in the oven as it continues to cool, about 1 hour and 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. When the meringues have completely cooled, immediately store them in an airtight container until needed, making sure that you space them evenly apart and do not stack them upon each other. The meringues can be made up to 3 days in advance.
For the cream:
- In a small food processor, or using a mortar and pestle, grind the confectioners’ sugar and dried culinary lavender until the lavender is roughly blended into the sugar and is beginning to smell fragrant. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the cream on medium-low speed until it is just beginning to hold <g class="gr_ gr_101 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_disable_anim_appear Grammar multiReplace" id="101" data-gr-id="101">it’s shape</g>. Add in the honey and lavender sugar and whisk until very soft peaks have formed. Add <g class="gr_ gr_95 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_disable_anim_appear Grammar only-del replaceWithoutSep" id="95" data-gr-id="95">in </g>the mascarpone, vanilla bean <g class="gr_ gr_102 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_disable_anim_appear Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="102" data-gr-id="102">seeds</g> and lavender water (if using) then increase the mixer speed to medium-high. Whisk until the cream is just beginning to hold stiff peaks. Be careful not to over whisk! The cream is ready when it is smooth and thick but not curdled. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and place it in the refrigerator to thicken whilst you prepare to assemble the merveilleux.
- Using a box grater or peeler, shave down all the dark chocolate. I used a few different holes on my grater for a more textured look. Place the chocolate into a clean rimmed baking tray. Set aside.
- Place half the meringues on flattened paper muffin liners set on a <g class="gr_ gr_92 gr-alert gr_spell gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="92" data-gr-id="92">seperate</g> lined baking tray. Pair each meringue with another matching meringue that closely resembles its shape. Remove the cream from the refrigerator.
- Using an offset spatula, spread a thick layer of the cream on top of one of the meringue, spreading it all the way to the edges. Then, use a gentle amount of pressure to sandwich with the remaining meringue pair. You’ll essentially have a ‘meringue cake’, that comprises <g class="gr_ gr_98 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_disable_anim_appear Grammar only-del replaceWithoutSep" id="98" data-gr-id="98">of </g>a bottom layer of meringue, a thick layer of cream and a top layer of meringue. Coat the top and sides with another thick layer of the cream. If your cream is too loose, you can place it back in the refrigerator to chill for a further few minutes until it has firmed up slightly. Gently and quickly roll the meringue cake around in the shaved chocolate – dip the top, then coat the sides, then roll around in the chocolate to shape. The more you do it, the more it becomes less messy and natural! Place the cake on top of <g class="gr_ gr_106 gr-alert gr_spell gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling" id="106" data-gr-id="106">it’s</g> paper liner then continue to repeat with the remaining meringues or until all of the chocolate and cream have been used up. You should get about 10 to 11 merveilleux. Place the merveilleux in the refrigerator to chill until firm before serving, about 1 hour.
thalia is a law student by day, blogger at butter and brioche by night and all around francophile. In her free time you’ll find her spending hours on end in her kitchen, testing recipes, baking decadent treats, exploring cookbooks and getting lost in the digital world.