Aux Merveilleux de Fred


I cannot not tell you about Aux Merveilleux de Fred. I bought three small meringues to share with friends, and when sitting on a nearby park bench waiting for one of them to arrive, I dug into the first meringue. I don’t swear on this blog so I won’t share exactly what I said, but take it from me, a few expletives were uttered.


Then I dug, and dug, and dug, until the once beautiful box was scraped clean, and all that remained were a few bits of chocolate and cream so well-lodged in the corners, that even my extremely persistent digging with a little spoon wouldn’t release them. Then the box got tossed before the friend arrived so no one was the wiser, which goes to show how good intentions can so easily go astray.

Aux Merveilleux de Fred

I was thinking what a great idea this was: just do one thing, and do it perfectly. Each merveilleux is layers of croquant meringue and lightly sweetened whipped cream, and comes in just three flavors: chocolate, coffee, and speculoos (spiced). I think if Aux Merveilleux de Fred decided to open anywhere else, be it the Marais or Dubuque, Iowa, they would have lines around the block. And if they we anywhere closer to me, I swear, I’d be in that line a little more often than one would consider reasonable.

Aux Merveilleux de Fred
129 bis, rue St-Charles (15th)
29, rue de l’Annonciation (16th)
97, rue St-Dominique (7th)

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  • Wow! Great presentation too. Love the garnishes and box as well.

  • I propose that we start sending people in shifts to bring back boxes of these from the west side.

  • Argh! Dieters should unfriend you, David. Anyway, I prefer them with unsweetened whipped cream, and I am afraid I may never get to taste them again if I want to fit into my clothes.

  • I don’t usually like meringues but it sounds like I need to try this!

  • i love a place that does one thing & does it VERY well. you sitting on the park bench devouring sounds fabulous. delicious tasty morsels!!! dayle

  • Your posts always end up in a chocolate craving…….any ideas for a cure?

  • These look insanely good!

  • makes me wonder why i live in Antwerp! gotta get on that Thalys…

  • I love how you said the idea is do one thing and do it perfectly…should be the motto of every business I believe! It all looks absolutely divine!

  • Those look insanely good. I love the idea of concentrating on one thing to perfection, also. (Although, it must be intimidating to start out that way as a business owner. But still.)

    Good intentions, anyway. ;)

  • David, I have a feeling that if those friends of yours read your blog, they will be most put out! Definitely one of those occasions where it is not ‘the thought’ that counts!:)

    How do they get the chocolate flakes to stick on the outside?

  • I walk past the one in the 16e every day or so, but have so far resisted the temptation on the basis that I would soon be a regular. (On the way to becoming a XXXL regular.)

    Sandra, they just roll them in the flakes which stick to the cream

  • Pretty box! By the hand, it looks like you had an accomplice eating those beauties…

  • I will be in Paris on Tuesday and, as my good fortune would have it, I’ll be in the 16e. While my waistline may not like it, I certainly thank you for sharing.

  • Dammit! Now regretting not trying one in Lille!

  • Hi David, I’m about to do a piece on a chocolatier down here in Provence. Have bought a Canon Rebel and have 50mm lens, any suggestions how to get good pics? Am feeling nervous due to bad photography experiences and yours always look so good!

  • speculoos meringue…swoon. Just thinking about them makes us lose good intentions.

  • How divine! Another dangerous adventure added to the trip to Paris. I can almost taste them from your description.

  • David, thanks for sharing this one: I’m now heading off to the 15th or 16th. They look stunning!

  • “Just do one thing and do it perfectly.” Nice.

  • @David, there’s always a line out the door of the one in the 16th, unlike anyplace else in the ‘hood. I love watching through the window as they’re being made.

    @ault, your photos are spectacular!

  • Now I wish I were in Paris…………!!!!

  • David – How many minutes did you wait for your friends before devouring all 3 meringues? (Just kidding – but I am thinking of adopting your 20 minute rule and wonder if in a case like this, shouldn’t there be a 2 minute “extreme heart-stopping emergency” exception that avoids having to wait the extra 18 minutes?) I wish all the cupcake stores in Washington DC would magically turn into meringue temples where I could worship such glorious morsels.

  • Oh, trouble. That is dangerously close to my new place.

    @ Meg – I volunteer!

  • i haven’t checked your site in ages and TODAY I was seriously considering heading over to Fred’s for a one or five of these….then I for some reason decided to check your site today. weird. and you are so right…they are AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!

  • mais oui !! oooooh the delicious flashback i am having to our weekend in lille a few years ago, thank you for that. we got the original merveilleux and a moka one too (they don’t have that flavor in paris ?) – and i am just picturing us devouring it, barely a few feet out the door. yeah, seriously that good, i definitely agree.

  • I randomly walked by this place (in the 16eme) last winter and, would you believe?, didn’t sample. Oh la la… so exquisite!

  • Ault

    Thanks, I was not sure if they were coated or just filled with cream! Positively evil, certainly! Why do all the good things come with mega calories? My son asked me the other day for my recipe for Banoffee Pie. He took one look at it and decided that neither he nor his housemate could survive the onslaught of high sugar and fat! I did tell him that is why I only make it about once a year and always when there are guests around to eat it!

  • I think if I had a top 10 things to eat in Paris, this would be high on my list!

  • I’m gonna use ur word astonishing to describe those,lol!

  • OK, so wait- is it an entire meringue covered with cream then the chocolate?

    Each merveilleux is layers of croquant meringue and lightly sweetened whipped cream

    Or is it broken up meringue pieces in some sort of layered arrangement…. I am setting my eggs on the counter to bring to room temp as I type…!!!

    And what is it spiced with??

    Pardon the drool…

  • Dammit, David! On the way out to dinner, and no plans to go anywhere near the 16th…
    Maybe lunch tomorrow – they DO look that good!

    Sorry I missed the signing – got invited to tour Moet on Saturday out in Epernay…

    It was a tough choice.

    No, really…

  • I had a similar experience the first time I tasted these! I have returned many times and I am completely incapable of sharing them, they are Bewitching.

    FYI it actually comes in 3 flavors including coffee flavor, although the white chocolate-covered speculoos is the winner in my opinion.

  • Really, David, how dare you post that without a HINT of a recipe !?

  • Oh my. I actually love meringue…all by itself as cookies but also in cake layers or filled with fruit but I have never thought to cover a meringue cookie like this. I think my good intentions to share would only have worked if I had not bought until friends arrived…how could you NOT dig in and devour?

  • Good God. I am making these this week. I just posted one of my other all time favorite pistachio meringues (Ottolenghi-style), but I had a dessert like this right over the border of Italy in Menton. They serve the most shatteringly crunchy meringues with freshly churned ice cream, chantilly cream, and either fresh fruit or nuts and shaved chocolate. Be damned, I am posting my own version of this ASAP.

  • My goodness! I, too, am wondering about the lurid details of the construction of said merveilleux. It seems like the best parts of a pavlova without the somewhat salubrious notion of adding a berry or two…

    I would have done the EXACT same as you! I am terrible at sharing. Isn’t it wonderful?

  • The shop in the 16th in on the way from work to home. Had to change route.

  • David, I thought for sure you would have been familiar with this one! I first discovered it on a Sunday when the local Monoprix was closed and I had to forage for food. Yes, they are open on Sundays! I asked them one of the last times I was there who the heck Fred was, because it did not seem like a particularly French name to me. Ah, he is the one who invented the Merveilleux. Oui, Fred is a French name. I pride myself on my meringue skills, but may never achieve the level of Fred!

  • For future reference, if you tear down the corners of the box and flatten it out, the corner crumbles cannot hide! I’ve also been known to swipe a finger through the last of the sauce on my plate (not in France, of course). Waste not, want not.

  • Unfortunately, we have a local chocolatier who has exactly that effect on me. My noble intentions of sharing with my much loved family vaporise once I have his product in my hand – especially his salted caramel, which my children do not actually know exists although I buy them repeatedly.
    Bad mother. ;-)

  • Anyone happen to know if they are gluten free? We will be in paris this summer and this would be an exceptional treat!

  • oh, see, now, you’ve got me hook line and sinker… and stuck!

    we just made meringues today, with bittersweet smattered everywhere, but what’s this whipped cream business?

    On a Pavlova, surely, or in a Mess, but how do you get it into a cookie without the whole thing turning to soup in a heartbeat??

    Recipe? Guidelines? Pretty please, with meringue on top?

  • How sad….I love reading your blog but I can’t venture out of my door to find the places you’ve discovered because I live in Melbourne, Australia.
    Great hearing about all the lovely places in Paris. I cling to the hope of returning there one day soon.

  • After I’d finished the box I was going to share I would have marched right back in to the shop and gotten 3 more and tried to share those. If that failed. I’d keep going back until I got it right. These look so yummy.

  • Pretty beneficial post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have extremely enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing for ones feed and I hope you post again soon.

  • Grace and Kerrin: I don’t recall seeing coffee nor does their website mention it, but I added that as a possible flavor and will “verify” that shortly – I hope!

    Melissa: I would imagine that if I tore down the corners of the box, I could simply lick the whole thing clean. And not miss a single speck : )

    Jill: Since I live on the opposite side of town (and the 15th and 16th are a bit hard to get to because of the # of métros it takes me) I had to make a concerted effort to get over there. It was, of course, well-worth it…

    stephanie: They are going on my next top-ten list of things to eat in Paris, for sure.

  • Distance makes the heart grow fonder – or so they say.
    There are times, when distance saves one from one’s self. ;-)
    A pity, though, reading how box licking good that stuff is.

  • They look immense, I want them.

  • I love meringues and I’d love to taste all three flavors…unfortunately im on the other side of the globe so im going to have to be content with re-clicking this post and imagining how good they taste!

  • David darling, I love meringues. Love, love, love them. My favorite way of preparing them is to fold in toasted walnuts, then throw big blobs on a cookie sheet, then bake. Could you possibly do me a HUGE favor and give a more specific recipe? Like is the whipped cream piped into the center or rolled around the ball. How do they get them in such lovely round shapes? Or do they start out in another shape? Enquiring minds want to know.

  • They are actually from the Lille! I love the Speculoos one (because I love Speculoos) and I always bring friends there whenever they visit me in le Nord.

    I’m glad to know there is one in Paris as well, as most people from America who come to visit me want to see the city of lights instead of the north of France.

  • p.s. I don’t know if someone already brought this up, and I hate to be a nit-picker, but Speculoos are actually Belgian cookies, not a spice! It tastes like christmas to me.

  • Oh.My.God!
    That is all. :-)

  • I don’t know who this Fred character is, but I like what he does! And I love speculoos as a flavor–have you ever had Dolfin’s milk chocolate bar with speculoos crunchies? It’s pretty terrific.

  • Don’t mean to come off as dense, but how exactly is this dessert composed? Is it a meringue covered in whipped cream then rolled in chocolate flakes? or is it a meringue filled and frosted with whipped cream then rolled in chocolate flakes? or something other construction entirely? I don’t think I’ll try making it, but I am intensely curious. Thanks for sharing!

  • Ah man! Why do you taunt me sooooooo? damn it! those look too good NOT to NOT eat! and I would have done the same thing. And so would have your friend.

    But man, if i’m ever gonna meet you by a park bench, I’m gonna be sure to ask what you did with the merigues that were supposed to be mine.

  • A plate full of those and a bottle of Champagne and who needs heaven?

  • Awesome!!

  • No swearing on the blog? Such a tease. Just one more reason to sign up for one of your tours so as to get a taste of the real DL, expletives, chocolate, meringues, rose wine and all. If my kids are reading this, a DL tour/trip is on my (very short) Mother’s Day gift list. The kids are intimately familiar with how much I like chocolate and expletives. Had it been me, I would have eaten all three meringues AND gone back for more before my friend arrived. And then made some coy play for more than half of the additional three.

  • laura: In France, confectioners use the word “speculoos” to describe something with a mix of spices as well.

    While it’s not technically correct, that’s the term that they choose to use, perhaps because there really isn’t a term (at least that comes to mind) in French for something with a mix of spices.

  • They let you take pictures ? Man…I got a 5 minute lecture by a nasty woman in the one in the 15th for taking a picture of the display case. The display case !!! She was like the meringue nazi, so I felt the need to stop taking pictures, shut up, and ask sheepishly for my merengue.

  • Erin: I always ask before taking photos in Paris because I know how people are and feel about them, and the woman behind the counter said it was fine. When I snapped a few photos, one of the cooks told me I shouldn’t take pictures without asking and when I told her I did, she said “Okay.” And was fine with it. So am not sure if you asked first, but I always, always do in Paris.

    Interestingly I got scolded for taking a picture of a pizza in the store window, while I was standing on the sidewalk outside at Secco. They did that to someone I was with once at Ladurée as well and for the life of me, I’m pretty certain that they can’t stop you from taking pictures in store windows.

    And honestly, it’s good for business to let people take photos I think in this day and age. I mean, because they let me take photos here, I get to share them with all of you! : )

  • This Iowan would be pleased to welcome Aux Merveilleux de Fred.

  • Hi David, I asked too. Maybe it was the same woman. When I told her I did, she still told me to put my camera away. So I obliged. I was going to write to do a write-up on this spot, but since I didn’t have any pics to go with it, I just added them to my “Sweet Tooth” places in Paris. I totally agree : what could have been some good publicity really just turned me off and made me not want to advertise them among my readers.

    Regardless, great meringues worth the occasional trip out to the 15th or 16th. :-)

  • Good Lord, I love your sense of humor David! I love that you swore and ate the whole *expletive* box! Good for you! Was worth the trip! Ha!

  • Thanks for the response! I didn’t know that and neither did my French boyfriend. I always assumed they were just using the cookies in the merveiulleux, haha.

  • I love your site and your baking, I’ve been looking for my favorite chocolate chip recipe and in your chocolate chunk I think I found it (well worth the whole book). Seriously, when I see your posts of all the beautiful desserts and food it make me me feel a little less guilty about my indulgences;) Keep up the good work!

  • You threw the box away :-( !!! I love all the beautiful macaron boxes from Paris….I save them to re-use for gifts or jewelry boxes! BTW….cannot wait to try this shop when I’m next there..hopefully in September.

  • So cool to see a post on this on your site. I live right around the corner and tell every sweet tooth I know about it. I know I won’t have access to something like this when I return to the states this summer so I guess I’ll have to try making l’incroyable at home :) (I’m already shipping packages of Speculoos back with some of my things.)