The chocolate gets melted then shaped into little discs, quickly sprinkled with the assortment of nuts, dried fuit etc. that you choose, and then you only have to wait an hour or so for it to set and be ready to enjoy.
For this version, I chose blond chocolate because of its delicate caramelised taste. Hazelnut and apricot have been flavours I really enjoyed this year so I decided it should be combined into a Christmas sweet treat.
You can of course enjoy it all by yourself but if you are looking for a simple edible gift this Christmas, mendiants are a great idea.
Have you ever had or made mendiants?
If so, what are your favourite flavour combinations?
Ingredients (make approximately 15 to 20 mendiants)
150g chopped blond chocolate*
25g blanched hazelnuts
30g chopped dried apricots
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C (160˚C fan).
Spread the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast on the middle shelf of the oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are golden brown. Set aside to cool completely then chop roughly, leaving some whole.
2. Prepare a piece of greaseproof baking paper with shapes for the mendiants (draw approximately 20 shapes - depending on how much chocolate you spoon on the circles, whether your mendiant will be thin or a little thicker, you will get between 15 and 20 of them). Draw 5cm diameter circles using a cookie cutter or another small round shaped utensil on one side of the paper, leaving enough space between each.
Turn the paper over onto a large flat surface (see example below).
3. Melt the chocolate in a bain marie. Put the chopped blond chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (the water should not touch the bowl so make sure the bowl is larger than the saucepan). Stir the chocolate with a spatula until it is melted.
4. Using a teaspoon, spoon the chocolate onto the circles on the baking paper. Make 5 of them, then decorate with chopped apricots and hazelnuts. Repeat with the rest of the blond chocolate (if the chocolate solidifies during that process, put it back on the bain marie to melt before shaping the other mendiants).
5. Leave to set for at least one hour at room temperature (not in the fridge). Delicately take them off the baking paper (you could use the thin knife of a butter knife or a very thin spatula to do so) and transfer onto a plate for serving. You can also put them in an airtight container and keep for up to a week.
Note: *I found blond chocolate in Marks and Spencer where I am. You could also use Dulcey chocolate by Valrhona or make your own caramelised white chocolate.