You can always buy a batch that is already made, but making mendiants is a simple process. Start by assembling a selection of toppings, such as cacao nibs, nuts (pistachios, walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts), dried fruits (cranberries, raisins, cherries, candied orange peel) and anything else that pairs well with chocolate, like small chunks of butter cookies or fleur de sel , as recommended by Clotilde. Melt some good quality chocolate and drop spoonfuls of it onto a sheet of wax or parchment paper to make circles. Place a small assortment of toppings on each disc and set aside to harden. Peel off when ready to serve.
"mendiants" news and stories
Mendiants are small disks of chocolate that are studded with dried or candied fruits and nuts. Traditionally, they are part of the Christmas celebration in France, where the fruits and nuts on top of the chocolates were chosen to represent "the four mendicant monastic orders and the color of their robes." The original toppings were raisins for the Dominicans, hazelnuts for the Augustins, dried figs for the Franciscans and almonds for the Carmelites. Now, chocolatiers are just as likely to get creative with the toppings for these bite-sized treats as they are with any other confection.
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