Recipe: Mendiants, French Christmas Confections

Recipe: Mendiants, French Christmas Confections

Ingredients

300g Chef's Drops 55% Sambirano Dark Chocolate (you can use the chocolate that suits you want but I used this as it has a good balance of bitter sweetness) 

160g BakeryBits Granola

If you don't have any granola made up already then you can mix up some pumpkin seeds, malted wheat flakes, jumbo oats, sunflower seeds, nuts and dried fruit.

What exactly is a Mendiant?

Mendiants have quirky roots in France from the Middle Ages. They were part of the Provençal tradition with toppings denoting the original robes of the four Mendicant order of friars. Today they are a well-loved tradition in many a French household and if you try making these they could be a firm favourite in yours. They are commonly eaten over the Christmas period so make sure that you have yours ready to wow your guests.

 

That's the history part out of the way now tell me what they are

They are bite-sized puddles of tempered chocolate studded with tasty granola toppings, typically dried fruits and nuts, give them pleasing colours and contrasting tastes and textures, bitter and sweet, chewy and crunchy all resulting in a pleasurable mouthful of delight.

 

Now you have told me that I need to know how to make them!

  1. Line a couple of baking sheets with baking paper so they are ready for the tempered chocolate.
  2. Mix your toppings in a bowl.
  3. Temper the chocolate by putting it into a heatproof bowl and placing this over a saucepan with water (just make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl)
  4. Gently warm the pan of water making sure it does not boil and stir the chocolate ensuring that it melts evenly.
  5. When the chocolate reaches 45°C (check with a digital thermometer) take the bowl off the saucepan and place it onto a cool kitchen worktop or baking tray.
  6. Stir the chocolate until it cools to 28°C and then place it back onto the saucepan, stir and heat until it reaches 31°C.
  7. Drop tablespoonfuls of the chocolate onto the baking paper leaving a bit of room in between so they can spread out a little - make about 6 then add the toppings while the chocolate is still melted. Then repeat. 
  8. Let the Mendiants cool and set completely before taking them off the baking paper.
  9. Place them in an air-tight container if they are being kept for later, otherwise display them piled up on a nice platter or pop them in your mouth and enjoy....or put them in a pretty glass jar with some ribbon for that standby present.