Confiserie Tschirren in Berne was one of the first places I visited in my quest for outstanding chocolate recipes.  Hans Tschirren, the owner, didn't disappoint me and we spent a morning tasting his excellent chocolates and discussing how they're made.  The following recipe is the result. NUTMEGS

One of the most flavorful creations of Hans Tschirren, proprietor of the Confiserie of the same name in Berne, these fun chocolates are actually made to imitate whole nutmegs.  See the end of the recipe for his equally whimsical cinnamon sticks.

Makes about 40 chocolates


1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened


1/4 cup alkalized (Dutch process) cocoa powder, sifted

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

  1. For the centers, combine the cream, corn syrup, and nutmeg in a saucepan and whish to mix.  Cook until just very warm to the touch, about 120 degrees; remove from heat and cool.
  2. Once cool, whisk the cream mixture and the cooled chocolate together and whisk in the butter.
  3. Use a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tube to pipe oval shapes that resemble whole nutmegs on a paper-covered pan.  If the center mixture is too soft, chill briefly and stir smooth before piping.
  4. Chill the centers for an hour.
  5. To finish, mix the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, and nutmeg together in a small pan.  Use one hand to coat the centers with the cooled chocolate and drop them into the cocoa mixture.  Turn them around to cover all side and lift them to another paper-covered pan.  Chill to set, then shake gently in a strainer to remove excess cocoa.

Cinnamon Sticks

Substitute cinnamon for the nutmeg in both the center mixture and the coating cocoa.  Pipe the center mixture into long cylinders, the diameter of the opening in the tube, the length of a paper-covered pan.  Chill and then cut into 2-inch “sticks.”  Coat and finish as above.