Oh my, it feels like forever since I've posted anything, though it has only been a couple of days! This has been a crazy last week. First the snowstorm, which severely crippled sales at my store (which have been terrible anyway because of the economy), not to mention knocked out the power at my house for three days, and now here we are just 3 days from Christmas! Thankfully, the sun came out yesterday, and people have started braving the still icy sidewalks and shopping, hallelujah!
In case you missed my last post, I recently hosted a 5-course chocolate meal as part of the December version of Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24. As party favors, I made bags of these mendiants to give to my guests.
Mendiants are wonderful confections, because if done right you get a different and distinct flavor with each bite. There are limitless options for toppings, so you can really get creative. They are such fun treats to make, and surprisingly easy!
Go to it! There's still plenty of time to include these in holiday goodie bags!
10 oz best quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
A few tablespoons of your choice of toppings, such as candied citrus peel, crystalized ginger, nuts (toasted or not) dried fruits, cocoa nibs, sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, culinary herbs, the list goes on!*
To temper chocolate:
Place 8 oz of chocolate in heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted, and measuring about 100 degrees. Add remaining 2 oz of chocolate and stir to melt, stirring until it reaches about 90 degrees.
Drop spoonfuls of tempered chocolate on parchment and use the back of spoon to swirl chocolate into a circle. When chocolate has begun to set but is still soft, add toppings. Use 3 - 4 toppings per disk, but don't overdo it. Alice Medrich calls mendiants an ode to simplicity, which is a lovely and perfect description for these heavenly disks.
* Some combinations I made were: nib, dried cherry and cracked pepper; candied orange peel, fig and lavender, candied lemon peel, crystalized ginger and almond; candied orange & lemon, fig and walnut.