Chocolate, Fruit & Nut Discs
These are simply bite-sized discs of chocolate topped with fruits and nuts. The French word “mendiant” refers to both beggars as well as those of monastic persuasion. Classically there are four toppings on top of the chocolate disc representing four mendicant orders. The colors of the items are said to represent the colors of their various robes. A popular combination seems to be hazelnuts, figs, almonds and raisins, but I have found different items mentioned. I have chosen toppings for flavor, color and shape, but feel free to use whatever you like: cacao nibs, dried fruit, candied fruit or nuts.
These can be made on a baking sheet or if you have a salt block, use it as a base for the mendiants as shown in our images. It will impart a subtle but noticeable salty kick. The gorgeous blocks shown in the pictures are from The Salt Table. We used the blocks for Chocolate Chip Cookies, too.
- Assorted dried fruit, toasted nuts, cacao nibs, candied ginger and/ or candied fruit
- 4 ounces couverture bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, smoothing out any wrinkles; set aside.
- Prepare fruit so that it is size appropriate. For instance, dried cranberries can be halved, apricots slivered. Larger nuts can be halved, etc. Toasting nuts will bring out their flavor – just make sure they are cooled.
- Temper chocolate.
- Use a teaspoon to drop 1 -inch rounds of chocolate onto prepared pan (or salt block). Space these rounds apart so that they are not touching. Place toppings on wet chocolate using photo as inspiration.
- Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Remove from foil (or salt block) and enjoy at room temperature. Store 1 month refrigerated in airtight container in single layers separated by waxed or parchment paper
- If using a salt block, use a thin edged spatula to remove the mendiants. You can only make as many as the size of your salt block allows. Simply make in a few batches.
- PS: Someone brought to our attention that Dédé has been cited on the Wikipedia entry of Mendiants!