Mendiants for Christmas
What is a mendiant? (men-dee-ahnt), you ask.
It is a French chocolate confection that is served during the holidays. Discs that are studded with dried fruit and nuts.
The true symbolism is that a mendiant represents the four mendicant or monastic orders of the Dominicans, Augustinians, Franciscans and Carmelites.
Think Cadbury bar.
The UK version that was a small block of chocolate studded with raisins and nuts. I loved them, and I haven't seen them in years.
I got the idea to make mendiants for the holidays from Manger, where everything, including the dead goose with the head and all, looks beautiful.
It's a simple formula.
Melt abut 8 oz. of good quality dark chocolate in a bain Marie, and stud it with the following:
dried figs, sliced into small pieces
candied orange peel
(you can also use pomegranate seeds, walnuts, coconut or apricots)
Have everything ready to go on a cutting board, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
With a teaspoon, drop a small 2" disc of melted chocolate (do about 6 at a time, so they don't harden while you are decorating them) onto the paper lined tray.
Stud the discs with the nuts and dried fruit.
Place the trays in the refrigerator to harden for about 30 minutes.
They will come off the paper easily with a spatula, or your hands.
Keep in a cool dry place and serve for the holidays!
Makes about 18 mendiants.