There are chocolates and there are chocolates. Not all are created equally. One of my favorites for making these easy Mendiants is a French brand, Valrhona.It is fitting to use this brand as Mendiants are a French confection. You can, of course, use any good quality, bittersweet chocolate. Mendiants are so easy to make and very beautiful in their simplicity. Studded with orange peel, pistachios, sea salt, almonds, candied ginger, coconut shreds and edible gold flakes these would make a lovely, sweet Valentines gift. Oui? Oui, oui it’s as easy-as-this.
I use a double boiler pan to melt the chocolate, but you can just place in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water if you don’t have one. Gather all your add-ins while chocolate is melting in little bowls so you can work quickly while chocolate is still warm and melted.
I drew around a small glass creating circles on a sheet of parchment paper to help me make the mendiants all about the same size. I added a dollop of melted chocolate to each circle, then spread it out with the back of a spoon and sprinkled toppings, working with one circle at a time, slightly pressing ingredients down into the still melted chocolate.
All you do is let the chocolate cool and harden. It really is as easy-as-this.
Oui, Oui Dark Chocolate Mendiants
Ingredients: (you can use all or just some of these when making your own Mendiants. I varied ingredients so they were all a little different. You can also just use whatever you have on hand…pecans, walnuts, any candied fruit, etc.)
- 16 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup candied or dried orange peels
- 1/4 cup pistachios, chopped
- 1 tablespoon edible gold flakes, hearts, or any edible gold cake decorations
- 1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons sea salt flakes, such as Maldon
- 1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes or shreds
- In the top of a double boiler melt the chocolate over simmering water. Stir every so often. You can also melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water if you do not have a double boiler pan. Make sure all your pans and spoons are clean and dry with no moisture so the chocolate will not “seize”.
- While chocolate is melting, gather all your add-ins…nuts, fruit, etc.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a glass about 3 inches in diameter turned upside down, draw 15 circles over the paper with a pencil. These will be your “guide” for making mendiants round and approximately the same size. It’s okay if they are not perfect.
- When chocolate is totally melted, using a spoon, add a dollop to each circle. Spread out to the edges of your “circles” on the parchment creating chocolate disks about 1/4 inch thick, more or less. While chocolate disks are still soft, stud each with a variety of ingredients. Gently press ingredients down into the chocolate so they are embedded somewhat into the surface.
- Leave finished mendiants on sheet of parchment to cool and harden completely. Serve immediately or store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for later.
- To give as a gift put a few in a small candy bag or box. These make great easy-to-make at home edible tokens of affection.
I first made these for a magazine article I was working on a few years ago. Since I have made them a few times as they are so beautiful and delicious and are always a welcome gift.
Teresa Blackburn. teresablackburnfoodstyling.com