A well-informed citizen of the world will say that Belgium is part-French and part-Dutch. A well-travelled foodie, on the other hand, will say it’s part-chocolate and part-waffle. Bliss.
The capital, Brussels, is one of the best places to experience this. Here are five not-to-miss insanely delicious sweet treats.
Walking in Brussels’ city centre, you can see at least three chocolate shops at any given time. They are all worth trying – like pizza, even when chocolate is bad, it is good. But if time or suitcase space is tight, head to Elisabeth. This curator of artisanal chocolate has a handful of shops scattered across Brussels. Intimate and beautifully designed, it’s the home of (IMO) the most sublime chocolate in town. Pralines, truffles, chocolate bars, meringues, cakes… you are spoilt for choice. Best of all, their gift boxes are pretty too.
There’s nothing new about the combination of meringue, whipped cream and chocolate. Anyone who’s ever made (or assembled) a good pavlova knows that. But smash up the meringue, mix it with flavoured whipped cream, roll it into a ball and then roll it into chocolate… genius! These pretty balls of confectionery goodness are what Aux Merveilleux is known for. The tiny shop sells a small range of colours and flavours – chocolate, almond, spekulaas and more – all totally delicious.
In recent months, eclairs have crept up the list of covetable pastries. Want to see and taste exactly how versatile and delectable they are? Head to Eclairs et Gourmandises. There are too many flavours to mention – and they do change – but one of the praline varieties are always a good bet.
When you search the internet for the “best waffles in Brussels”, Maison Dandoy pops up all over the place. Though they are phenomenal (see below), the thing worth going back for is their biscuits. Handmade at the Brussels atelier from 100% natural ingredients, the biscuits are little nibbles of magic. Almond croquants, Bernadins, salted butter caramel biscuits and financiers (in butter, chocolate or pistachio!) are but some of the many, delicious options.
Much like chocolate, you can’t really turn around in Brussels without falling over a waffle stand. Super affordable and mostly super delicious, they are the perfect snack en-route to a museum or the metro. Or the shops. Or a restaurant. Or back to the hotel. You get the picture.
Normally you are spoilt for topping choice – cream, ice cream, chocolate, strawberries, caramel and more. Want to taste the ultimate one? Then head to Maison Dandoy. Perfectly golden, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, it’s more than you could ever have imagined in your wildest waffle dreams.
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