Make these heavenly chocolate treats for yourself or your loved ones and they’ll bring you happiness! It’s been six years since we discovered Muscadines on the Intermediate Cordon Bleu Pâtisserie course in Paris; mum still has fond memories of taste-testing them. Can’t believe I waited so long before making some again! But better late than never and here’s the recipe so you can fall in love with them too. Muscadines are traditional French truffles: a melt-in-your-mouth ganache heart of milk chocolate, cream and glucose with optional cocoa butter, praliné (hazelnut or almond paste) and Cointreau (or orange juice), covered with a crisp shell of tempered milk or dark chocolate rolled in icing sugar. Good-quality couverture chocolate ensures Muscadines are extra yummy and moreish. And children or adults who avoid bitter dark chocolate will especially enjoy the mellow milk chocolate creaminess. Happily, they’re pretty easy to make! Optional mycryo cocoa butter facilitates the tempering process and these roughly-hemped little logs are ‘artistically’ formed, so shaping them is pretty relaxing. Yay! So delicious too. Please have one.
They’re dipped in a reasonable quantity of chocolate, so I used the leftover milk chocolate in the bowl to make super easy rice krispie treats, adding cocoa rice cereal puffs, marshmallows and butter. These cereal snacks are optional and not very French (or Cordon Bleu, lol), but they’re a great way to instantly re-use the chocolate and avoid waste in the kitchen. They’re surprisingly yummy and addictive too!
The Muscadines are based on the original Cordon Bleu recipe, with added tips and options.
If you don’t have a pot of praliné (I finally used my 2-year-old tub in the fridge), it’s pretty easy to make by whizzing hazelnuts and/or almonds in a processor (see my praliné recipe here). Otherwise, replace with the same weight of milk chocolate, gianduja (chocolate with 30% hazelnut paste) or maybe even Nutella! Sacrilege, I know.
Even the cocoa butter isn’t essential and many recipes don’t include it. The Cointreau can be replaced with another orange liqueur like Grand Marnier, or rum. These chocolates don’t taste strongly of alcohol – it’s subtle. But you can use freshly-squeezed orange juice instead.
Shape-wise, you could form rough balls or blobs with a teaspoon if you don’t fancy piping strips for the logs. And you could cover the ganache in dark chocolate to make them less sweet.
Finally, I’ve seen a simplified recipe for Muscadines with just chocolate, cream, liqueur and icing sugar!
But these are perfect and I love them just the way they are. Aw. 😍
- 150g/5.3oz milk chocolate, preferably good-quality couverture like the Cacao Barry Alunga 41% I used
- 15g/2 tsp glucose syrup
- 15g/1/2oz cocoa butter (I used mycryo cocoa butter powder, 7 and 1/2 tsp) – optional, can be replaced with milk chocolate
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 75g/ml liquid whipping cream (35% fat minimum)
- 60g/3 tbsp praliné, hazelnut and/or almond paste – can be replaced with milk chocolate, gianduja or possibly Nutella
- 10ml/2 tsp Cointreau orange liqueur or Grand Marnier, rum or freshly-squeezed orange juice
For dipping and covering
- 200-300g/7-10.6oz milk or dark chocolate (I used milk chocolate)
- 2g/1 tsp (for 200g chocolate) or 3g/1.5 tsp (for 300g) mycryo cocoa butter, optional
- An individual soup bowl filled to about 1/4 with icing sugar (powdered/confectioner’s)
Note: optionally weigh empty bowl before you start, so you can later calculate the amount of chocolate left in the bowl for making rice krispie treats.
- Over a bain marie (or double boiler), heat and stir milk chocolate, glucose and cocoa butter (if using) until fully melted. Don’t overheat – keep temperature of chocolate under 50ºC.
- Take off heat, pour in cream and whisk vigorously.
- Whisk in praliné.
- Whisk in alcohol and vanilla.
- Whisk vigorously 10 minutes or so (less with an electric whisk), until ganache lightens a bit and holds its shape better. Don’t let it thicken so much that you can’t pipe it.
This ganache still looks a bit dark and runny – a piped strip didn’t hold very well.
I whisked the ganache some more until a bit lighter and holding better.
It’s important for it to hold (I’ve seen people comment on other websites that their ganache hasn’t set well). Some recipes even say to let the ganache cool an hour then whisk again until really light and aereated.
Anyway, this method here has worked for me.
Use medium-sized nozzle (French no.12) to pipe strips on tray lined with baking paper. They can be a little uneven and knobbly (er, arty).
Cover tray with plastic film or place in reusable plastic bag. Store in fridge overnight.
Use small sharp knife to cut strips into logs about 5cm/2in long.
Cover with plastic again and place in fridge to set well 30 minutes or more.
Coating the ganache
Temper chocolate using your preferred method (two are here in my basics section). My favourite tempering method is the easiest with mycryo butter, here (but use 200g/300g chocolate and 2g/3g mycryo cocoa butter):
- When at correct temperature (28 to 29°C/82°F for milk chocolate), immediately take off heat. Use fork to dip log completely in chocolate.
- Lift and tap fork handle a little on bowl to get rid of excess chocolate.
- Roll in bowl of icing sugar (use a different fork, not like me).
- Place on baking paper to set at room temperature.
If chocolate in bowl starts setting and goes below 28°C, put bowl back on bain marie/double boiler a few seconds and stir until it reaches fluidity and correct temperature again. Repeat just a few seconds if needed.
Optional rice krispie treats with leftover tempered chocolate – for a 20 to 23cm (8-9in) square tin or silicon moulds
Weigh your bowl of remaining tempered chocolate (the current weight less original weight of empty bowl = weight of chocolate remaining). Add necessary chocolate to make up to 100g. Or just estimate.
Note: I don’t recommend melting chocolate and marshmallow together because marshmallows need a high temperature before they start melting whereas chocolate is nicer when it doesn’t go above 45 or 50°C.
- 100g/3.5oz milk or dark chocolate (or combination)
- 100g/7 tbps butter (I used 33g unsalted and 67g semi-salted)
- 100g/3.5oz marshmallows (mini or cut into small pieces)
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 150g/5 cups rice Krispies, or cocoa rice cereal puffs (I used some honey cocoa ones from the health food shop)
- Melt chocolate in bowl over bain marie (or double boiler) – don’t overheat. Set aside.
- In separate bowl, heat butter and marshmallow over bain marie (or double boiler), stirring until melted.
- Add chocolate and vanilla; stir until combined.
- Stir in rice cereal puffs.
- Spread in silicon moulds (push in) or in tin lined with baking paper (when set, cut squares). Or shape balls.
They’re a lovely surprisingly satisfying chocolatey chew.
Eating and storing
Store in airtight glass mason jar or other container at cool room temperature (ideally below 18ºC/64ºF). I tried putting a few in a mason jar in the fridge; they lost some flavour and seemed sweeter, even after being taken out of the fridge again for a day. Storing chocolate in the fridge is never really recommended but if the weather is very hot it might be necessary (perhaps they’d fare better in the ‘zero’ fruit and vegetable basket).
Apparently, at cool room temperature Muscadines keep up to 8 days (I can vouch for up to 5 days).
Rice Krispie treats
These keep in an airtight container up to 2 or 3 days at room temperature. They’re nice and satisfyingly chewy. They can be wrapped in plastic and frozen.
Which would you prefer, Muscadines or rice krispie treats? Both?
I find either extremely moreish, but Muscadines are very very special. Yum yum. Swoon.
Thanks for visiting sweet reader. Wishing you a chocolate lovers kind of Valentines and week. Because we all deserve happiness… and chocolate helps, right? Happy no baking and munching! 🙂 Lili x