You’ve got to admire the French when it comes to matters of the kitchen, or rather, les affairs du cuisine. Not only are they world-renowned for their culinary outputs and inventions, they also possess just the right amount of Gallic confidence to name their creations in such a way that the world regards them with appropriate gravitas and awe. And so, this little piece of chocolate magic, adorned with sprinkles, is known as the nonpareil; literally, a treat without parallel, supreme to everything else. And who could disagree? Not me and Harry that’s for sure. If a British person had devised the nonpareil, they would have named it, with hesitant and apologetic disclaimers, the Chocolate-I-Flung-Together-From-Some-Bits-and-Pieces-in-the-Cupboard, and it would have faded into unfashionability very quickly. Instead, the nonpareil thrives as a gorgeous and simple treat, and the perfect gift for chocoholics.
To make these you’ll need:
- Dark or milk chocolate (kids prefer milk, whereas bittersweet chocolate with >70% cocoa solids works best for grown-up, after dinner treats
- 1/2 tsp of cooking fat for every 8oz of chocolate used; this is optional but helps to release the disks and keep them smooth
- Sprinkles; any kind, any colour!
Simply melt your chocolate & fat together using a double-bowl on the hob or the microwave, then drop teaspoons onto a baking sheet or (even better if you have it) a silicon macaroon sheet with shallow indents, like we used below. Use the back of your teaspoon to make flat rounds, and leave to set for about 15 minutes.
Sprinkle the still-gooey chocolate liberally with your candy sprinkles or other topping, then pop them in the fridge for 30 mins to set hard. Use a palette knife to pop them off the baking sheet, or peel them from the silicon mat (either way this is very easy), and then allow approx. 1hr for collecting all the random sprinkles which have shot off into corners of the kitchen during this stage. Admire your beauties, fend off attack from hungry household members, and decide whether they are too precious to give away. If not, you could box them up like ours (below), or stack and roll them up in a pretty cellophane tube, tied at each end.
These are kitchen magic in that they are one of the simplest things you can make, but one of the loveliest to look at and the most fun for little people to make and eat. Yes, it can be a little messy, but hey – life is short, right?