Balzac called the Renaissance Château d’Azay-le-Rideau ‘a cut diamond set in the Indre’. Visitors to other Loire Valley châteaux had special treats in the local shops—Chambord has its palets solognots, Blois has its pavés, so in 1955 Henri Arrivé invented Muscadines ‘little nutmegs’ for Azay-le-Rideau.
The recipe has since passed down to Azay-le-Rideau’s Au Royal Chocolat. Cherries macerated for weeks in Cognac are hand-coated in chestnut paste (but not crème de marrons), dipped in dark chocolate, then rolled in icing sugar. Perfect with a cup of coffee après château.
Images by Au royal chocolat, Jean-Christophe BENOIST