Homemade Chocolate French Mendiants. Simple yet complex. Sweet yet savory. Délicieux yet Oh là là. YUM! YET BAZINGA!
A mendiant is a french confection composed of a chocolate disc covered in nuts and dried fruits. In France these adorned chocolate beauties are a Christmas tradition. I am moving this tradition to February 14th. I am making Chocolate French Mendiants for my special girlfriends on Valentine’s Day. …and maybe a few for my sweetheart too.
Sparkle! Sparkle! XX -gwyn
6 ounces semi-sweet, bitter-sweet, or white chocolate, melted, slightly cooled
Topping Ideas: crushed coffee beans; cacao nibs; crushed potato chips; walnuts; crushed pecans; almonds; flaked coconut; dried tart cherries; thinly sliced candied oranges; thinly sliced candied tangerines; sliced caramel; thinly sliced candied ginger; salted, roasted pistachios; bee pollen; flaky sea salt; candy coated sunflower seeds, currants, crushed candy hearts
The possibilities are endless!
Sparkling Charm’s Favorite Combinations:
crushed coffee beans + flaked coconut
crushed pecans + sliced candied oranges
candied ginger slices + cacao nibs
flaked sea salt + caramel slices
bee pollen + candied tangerines
walnuts + dried tart cherries
candy coated sunflower seeds + crushed coffee beans
salted, roasted pistachios + currants
crushed potato chips + cacao nibs
crushed candy hearts + flaked coconut
Turn a large rimmed baking sheet over and place a sheet of parchment paper on top.
In a double broiler, melt your chocolate. When completely melted turn the heat off.
Spoon 5 quarter-size mounds of chocolate onto the parchment 2″ apart. Using the back of a spoon, carefully spread the chocolate outward in a circular motion to make silver-dollar-size disks.
Add your favorite toppings to the chocolates.
Repeat creating 5 chocolates at a time. Reheat chocolate if necessary.
Chill for 30 minutes.
Carefully peel candies off of parchment and place your Homemade Chocolate French Mendiants on a simple platter.
If you are giving them as a homemade gift, place them on a small plate and wrap in cellophane tied with a pretty bow.
Tip: Avoid putting your chocolates back in the refrigerator. The chocolate will develop a grey hue.
A few interesting facts I found about mendicants on Wikipedia: “…a chocolate disk studded with nuts and dried fruits representing the four mendicant or monastic orders. Each of the ingredients used refer to the color of monastic robes. Tradition dictates that raisins stand for the Dominicans, hazelnut for the Augustinians, dried fig for the Franciscans, and almond for the Carmelites. Usually produced during Christmas, recipes for this confection have veered away from the traditional combination of nuts and fruits to incorporate seeds, fruit peels, and other items.”