While in New York last weekend, my mom and I stopped into MarieBelle, an elegant chocolate shop with a cafe and bakery. You might recognize their signature turquoise and brown color scheme or have seen their printed tins of cocoa in specialty shops.
We headed past the shelves of brightly colored boxes and cases of exquisitely printed chocolates to the cafe in back. The cafe offers savory food and plated desserts in addition to at least six different kinds of hot chocolate and a full bakery case. While deciding on what plated desserts to order, we started out with an appetizer of sorts, an alfajor. Alfajores hail from South America and Spain and are essentially dulce de leche sandwich cookies. I had developed a slight obsession with them as of late, but had never tried one.
My first alfajor was everything I hoped it would be. The cookies, traditionally made with corn flour, are impossibly light and buttery. They are firm in texture but crumble and almost melt on your tongue as soon as you bite into them. The dulce de leche was surprisingly smooth, not gooey or sticky. The layer of filling is thin but packs just the right about of sweetness and silky texture to contrast the crumbly cookie.
We split two plated desserts (entrees?), the first being a dulce de leche crepe. Clearly I can never get enough dulce de leche. The pancakes were tender with lightly crisp edges. The soft dulce de leche layered in between the crepes oozed when you cut into them and mixed with the melted vanilla ice cream to produce a wonderful combination of textures and temperatures.
The second plated dessert was Mariebelle’s Signature Dessert–a passionfruit chocolate terrine. I was expecting a taller, multi-layered confection. It ended up being akin to an oversized chocolate passionfruit truffle. It was delicious. I always love the flavor combination of chocolate and passionfruit. Ultimately though I would choose alfajores or a dulce de leche crepe over the terrine. I would recommend taking care of any chocolate cravings either in the front of the shop, or with MarieBelle’s vast selection of hot chocolates.
484 Broome Street
New York, NY