dark chocolate mendiants

Dark chocolate mendiants are little chocolate treats topped with whatever you desire – I love flaky salt, nuts and dried fruit. It’s about two weeks until Christmas here in Toronto and I am just starting my Christmas dessert making. I love one or two of these mendiants in the afternoon with tea when I get a mini break from my boys.

They are super simple to make. Melt the chocolate and spoon it onto waiting parchment paper to form little discs and then top.

A few topping ideas:

  • dried fruit like cranberries, blueberries, apricots, raisins or figs
  • goji berries
  • pistachios, walnuts, cashews, peanuts or hazelnuts
  • coconut
  • candied ginger
  • smashed candy canes
  • pretzels
  • flaky salt

Mendiants hail from the French – and the history of the treat represents a coin, and the toppings the four monastic orders. They are traditionally made in Europe at Christmas time. They are so pretty on a dessert tray or as a holiday gift tied up in a clear bag with ribbon. The recipe below makes 20-24 small mendiants. To make 10-12 mendiants, just use one chocolate bar.

Ingredients:

  • 2 x 100 gram dark chocolate bars (70% or 80% cacao)
  • prepped toppings ready to sprinkle

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Have the toppings ready. For example, chop the nuts or slice the candied ginger. You have about ten minutes to top before the chocolate firms up. Melt the dark chocolate either in a double boiler or in the microwave.

To use the double boiler method: bring a pot of water to a low boil. Place a heat safe bowl on top of the pot. Break up the chocolate bars and stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate melts.

To use microwave: break up the chocolate bars in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave in 20 second intervals stirring after each one. Once the chocolate is almost entirely melted just keep stiring and the heat from the bowl will melt the rest.

Use a teaspoon to spoon 20-24 chocolate discs on the parchment paper. Use the back of the spoon to help spread the chocolate into circles.

Top with whatever you like. Let set in the fridge or on counter until chocolate hardens.

Need holiday cooking inspiration? Check out these chewy ginger cookies and my savory thyme cheddar shortbread. And this is the holiday salad – with arugula, pear, walnut, Parmesan and pomegranate seeds I make every year.

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