Puffed Rice and Chocolate Unbaked Bars

I have been making puffed rice chocolate truffles since I was a child and it was probably the first sweet treat I was able to make completely on my own. My childhood version of the oval truffles – called “hedgehogs” or “pine cones” because of their form – contained only cocoa, butter and rice, but now I always use chocolate and add nuts, raisins and a dash of aromatic alcohol. Last weekend I wanted to use my new kitchen toy, namely a big silicone mould for rectangular bars or biscuits and this way my rice balls have been transformed into rice bars. I have discovered that using moulds is much easier, quicker and allows me to use less chocolate. Whatever the shape, they are ridiculously simple, filling, relatively healthy, irresistibly chewy thanks to softened rice and slightly crunchy thanks to the walnuts.

As you can see on the photo I don’t put a lot of chocolate. It’s there mainly to “glue” the remaining ingredients. If you want, you can double the chocolate amount. I also don’t add any sugar. Raisins and chocolate are sweet enough for me. If you decide to make truffles, definitely double the chocolate amount and add more butter.

Special equipment: silicone moulds (not necessary if you want to make truffles)

Preparation: 15 minutes + several hours in the fridge

Ingredients (makes about 8 bars 5 x 7,5 cm):

20 -30 g puffed rice (I prefer the unsweetened one)

15 walnut kernels

4 heaped tablespoons raisins

50 g dark chocolate (or more)

15 g butter

1 flat tablespoon instant coffee (optional)

50 ml Grand Marnier or any aromatic alcohol of your choice

Put the chocolate, the butter, the coffee and the raisins in a big pan (big enough to contain also the puffed rice).

Melt the chocolate, continuously stirring and don’t let it boil.

Put aside.

Chop the walnuts (or break them into pieces) and add to the pan.

Add the puffed rice, stirring and stop when you see the mixture will not stick together if you add more rice (it depends on the chocolate you use).

Fill the silicone moulds with the mixture or form balls with wet hands.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours. The taste improves if you leave the bars in the fridge overnight.

60 Replies to “Puffed Rice and Chocolate Unbaked Bars”

  1. I was just looking at another blog where they posted a homemade puffed rice recipe. Must be a sign 😀 Lemme go check my book of chocolate astrology on today date.
    I love chewy bars and this one sounds great especially with the Grand Marnier in it.

    1. Thank you, Ping! It is definitely a sign! I have never made puffed rice at home, but I suppose it must be similar to popcorn… Grand Marnier is great with everything 😉

        1. Thank you, Ping! (Even though it’s not me who asked you, I will bookmark it since finding unsweetened puffed rice can be sometimes very difficult here!).

          1. Yeah, I wasn’t too eager about the deep frying bit either but do you suppose if we put them in the oven after the drying process with a spritz of oil, it might work like popcorn? Sorry, Sissi, for carrying on the discussion here but I thought you might be interested to know or have some better ideas.

            1. Ping, I am delighted to learn about home-made puffed rice. I wanted to do it myself once when, furiously I looked for it in all the shops and all I found was sweetened puffed rice. I have heard about special pop corn machines. Maybe such a machine can do puffed rice without oil?

              1. Hmm … I don’t believe I’ve seen those machines over here. And even if I do, I’d probably won’t get one since I’m not into popcorn anyway. Know of anyone who has one? 😀

                1. I don’t know anyone who has it, but I have seen it somewhere… I don’t have popcorn more than once a year and I make it on a simple frying pan.

                    1. as I search again this time, i found that making puffed rice is very common tradition in India, Cambodia & Taiwan. you will find lots of video on youtube on the traditional method – cooking rice on hot sand in a high heat wok, and the rice start to puff! now I need to find sand!

                      This got me talking to my arabic friend, and he said they use this method to puff chickpeas, barley, wheat and many other grains! oh wow now I can’t wait to make more snacks!

                    2. I am so happy to observe your discussion and finds! This video makes the process look so easy, but I suppose being outside helps (no need to look for rice grains in the kitchen!).

      1. Thank you, Shannon! I wonder what else do you do with puffed rice (I am surprised it’s so popular worldwide!)

  2. Finally the recipe:) These sounds absolutely delicious. I have never used rice puffs in desserts other than making muesli cookies once, been meaning to try. Love rice puffs, some of my muesli has it and its really great. Good recipe, and addictive for sure

    1. Thank you, Mr. Three-Cookies! Actually, thinking about our talks and the amount of oats you use in your kitchen, I wanted to make oats and chocolate truffles (I make them very often too), but finally somehow I craved puffed rice too much to resist it… Oat and chocolate truffles will come soon, I promise! (It’s so addictive I keep it under a lid in the fridge, otherwise every time I open the fridge I would eat one bar).

  3. This is kind of like a Rice Krispie Treat, except much healthier and fancier! Grew up at Taiwan, street vendors would sell puff rice treats, but they are mainly made with rice and a little bit of peanuts and some kind of binding agent, yours looks wonderful!

    1. Thank you so much, Jeno! I must admit the walnuts and raisins (and the alcohol) are my own very simple enrichment, but slowly developed throughout the years…

  4. I used to eat a lot of puffed rice when I was a kid but I don’t remember them having all of these delicious other ingredients that you added. It looks delicious, Sissi. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    1. Thank you, Martyna. The alcohol’s aroma is perfect when the bars are left in the fridge overnight. I am now hooked on Grand Marnier, but I used to add rum before.

  5. These look fantastic, Sissi! I, for one, am glad you didn’t use too much chocolate since I’m not a fan! Crazy? Yes, probably a bit. I’m sure these would be a huge hit and what a great snack. 🙂 xx

    1. Oh, so you are exactly like one of my friends! It makes two people who don’t like chocolate! I should post a non-chocolate version for you. (I have already seen some French who don’t like cheese or coffee so I think nothing will surprise me 😉 )

      1. Haha yup! I’m one of those few weirdos. Note why I rarely feature chocolate on my site–my family and friends say I need to buck up and start using it since everyone else loves chocolate! Wow, they really don’t like cheese? Eesh, I could eat it all day every day!

        1. Yes, I still cannot get used to the fact that some French people I know can despise cheese… I haven’t even noticed you don’t post chocolate! There are so many other wonderful recipes on blog…

  6. Murgleurgle (that’s the sound of drool escaping, lol) – looks to me like “rice krispie cakes” just had their 18th birthday – wow, I loved these treats as a child – so wonderful to see a “grown up” version. Wonderful idea… will definitely try these sometime (soon!).

    1. Thanks, Charles! Looks rather like an aliens’ language 😉 Just joking! I start being convinced rice puffs are the most international children’s treat in the world!

  7. Personally, I would use A LOT MORE chocolate! (ha-ha!!) – these look great Sissi and how cool that you’ve been making treats with puffed rice all these years (is that a healthy version of Rice Krispies – which we see a lot in North American recipes for example, rice krispie squares? Do you use brown puffed rice?). I particularly love the addition of nuts, seeds, fruit – I’m thinking maybe sliced dried apricot and cherry… oh so yummy! The coffee and Grand Marnier add a wonderful sophistication.

    1. Thank you, Kelly. I don’t know why, but I love the puffed rice taste here so much, I always prefer to add the minimum of chocolate… I am not sure I have ever had Rice Krispies, but I have heard about them. I have never seen brow puffed rice and I must tell you finding here any unsweetened puffed rice is extremely difficult. I somtimes have to do these with other puffed grains because I refuse the sweetened puffed rice. I want to sweeten it myself! I think any other dried fruit works great here. This is the most frequent combination, but I sometimes use other fruit too. A small amount of coffee brings out – in my humble opinion – the chocolate’s flavours. I always add it to my chocolate cakes.

    1. Thank you! I have a sweet tooth, but whenever I make a recipe I reduce automatically the sugar amount bu 30% or even half if it’s taken from an old cookery book. I simply know it will be too sweet for me… This is why I love dark chocolate. It is not overly sweet.

  8. Hi Siss! Late comment again, did I miss your morning coffee time? lol. This is such a great snack! I love the fact that there is a little bit of chocolate just enough to enjoy the taste and do the job to stick together. I like you added nuts in it. I always love nuts in chocolate and it’s a must. I’m eating healthier and less portion so far…but too early to measure yet. =P Have a great week Sissi – stay in touch.

    1. Nami, today I woke up particularly early! Lots of work 🙁 For me also walnuts and chocolate are a must. I prefer hazelnuts in other mixtures. Congratulations, Nami! I cross my fingers and I am with you with all my heart!

  9. I love these – but never had one with alcohol…the perfect adult version – I like these…

    Sissi…In India we have a lot of savoury rice puffs (we call it murmura or la-e-ya). Take some unsweetened rice puffs, add some bombay mix, chop some red onion, red tomatoes- throw a little bit of tamarind chutney or corainder chutney (if you have any), some chopped boiled potatoes, very finely chopped (optional), some roasted peanuts and then a dash of salt, lots of lemon juice and maybe some chat masala 🙂 makes a perfect healthy savoury snack….it is also called bhel-puri in India…So, glad your post reminded me of those lovely treats I enjoy everytime I am back home….and I will be making these grown-up version of the sweet ones too

    so healthy and yet so yummy …..another great recipe Sissi…

    1. Thank you, Shilpa for the kind comment. Thank you so much for the delicious recipes too! I would have never used puffed rice in a savoury version.

    1. Thanks Giulia! You too??? I am really starting to think puffed rice is the most international food product!

  10. Wow Sissi, these bars look delicious with the puffed rice, like the idea of chocolate, coffee, walnut and raisins…all with a touch of Grand Marnier…yummie.
    Hope you are having a fantastic week and thanks for this nice recipe 🙂

  11. What a coincidence I was thinking what will my little one have for snack tomorrow, you gave me the answer I have everything in the pantry to make this wonderful recipe.

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