Mendiants au Chocolat

DSCN3305 DSCN3306 DSCN3309 DSCN3310  DSCN3320DSCN3315Chocolate Candies

Ingredients;
About 8z of chocolate
nuts: almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnut toasted
dried fruit: raisins, cranberries, cherries, blueberries
optional; coarse salt

Mendiants are a traditional French candy made of a disc of chocolate with dried fruit and nuts on top.

The night before, I put the dried fruit – a combo from Trader Joe’s, about half of the bag = 4oz – in a mix of warm water and rum. Brandy or any other alcohol is fine too. Or herbal tea, mint, lemon verbena, if you don’t want alcohol nor caffeine.

Line a flat surface or baking sheet with parchment paper so that it is easy to move your mendiants after they have set up. You can also use Silpat baking sheet, like mine.

I used dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s but you can use other kinds if you like.
I toasted the nuts, here just slivered almonds in a pan, about half of the bag = 4oz, a few minutes to get a light golden color and more flavor.
Then I put water in a larger pan, with a smaller pan in it with the chocolate. Heat on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes to let the chocolate melt.

When it was totally melted, I removed the small pan and with a spoon made some small disks on the paper. Then I added the fruit and nuts. Top with a touch of coarse salt if you like.

You may have some almonds left and melted chocolate, mix them together in the pan and make small clusters on the sheet.

Voila! It’s done!

It takes a few hours for the chocolate to solidify. I then placed them in individual dishes. They make a perfect holiday gift.

Next week I will share my super easy recipe for quiche lorraine…

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