A mendiant is a chocolate disc, which is topped with nuts and dried fruits. It is the easiest way to finish leftover tempered chocolate, yet makes lovely treats.
To learn to temper chocolate, see the techniques section for more information.
- 200gr chocolate
- nuts, such as hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts and almonds
- dried fruit, such as cranberries, figs and raisins
Makes 20-25 mendiants
Roast the nuts in a dry frying pan. When toasted and fragrant, take them out of the pan and set aside to cool. Don’t leave them to cool in the pan as they brown very quickly once they start to colour.
Temper the chocolate (assuming use of dark chocolate) by heating it to 50°C, bringing it down to 27°C and then heating it back to 31-32°C. For more information on tempering chocolate or the temperatures for milk and white chocolate, see the techniques section.
Spoon 20-25 tablespoons of chocolate onto a baking sheet. Spread the chocolate slightly, to make 5cm discs. Divide the nuts and fruit over the mendiants and press down somewhat. Good combinations include:
- Hazelnuts and raisins
- Pecans and cranberries
- Figs and cinnamon powder
- Walnuts and dried pear
- Pistachios and white raisins
- Walnuts and coffee powder/chocolate coffee beans
- Almonds and candied lemon peel
- Chocolate sprinkles (or other sprinkles)
- Hazelnuts and dried cherries
- Candies such as M&Ms or sugar hearts
- Salted peanuts and chili powder
- Coconut shavings and dried pineapple
You can however be as creative as you want to be, combining many different toppings on a single mendiant if you like. Include candies, marshmallows, cookies, pretzel sticks, spices (cinnamon, cardamom, chili, seasalt, pepper) and even fresh fruit such as strawberries and pomegrenate seeds (be aware though that shelf life decreases drastically by implementing fresh fruit).
Leave the mendiants to harden.
Do not put the chocolate in the fridge to harden. If tempered correctly, the chocolate will harden quickly.