Valentine’s Day is coming so fast!
This year Valentine’s Day snuck up on me. I’ve hardly noticed the pretty packages of chocolate tied up with ribbons and bows. Maybe it’s because I’m so spoiled by my favorite chocolatiers from France. I certainly stocked up while there in September. I’ve been rationing my chocolate haul to last until my next trip this April when I return to Paris with my first A Taste of Paris group in 3 years! I simply can not wait to take them for a visit and a taste of my chocolate favorites!
Meanwhile, Valentines Day is almost here and I’d love to share a simple French chocolate treat that you can easily make for yourself or your sweethearts!
The Dark Chocolate Mendiant originated in the Provençal region of France and is typically a Christmas treat. Although, these dark chocolate discs studded with dried fruits and nuts are good year-round.
Historically, each fruit and nut found on the Mendiant represented 1 of the 4 mendicant or monastic orders of the Catholic church. The color of the ingredient is reminiscent of the robes worn by each group of friars in the Church during the Middle Ages.
Making Mendiants is fun and easy! Melt chocolate, spoon it out onto parchment paper and top it with yummy goodies. Get creative and artistic with the toppings. Most any dried fruit or nut tastes amazing on top of rich dark chocolate so you can’t go wrong!
The most traditional toppings for Mendiants are raisins, hazelnuts, almonds, and cranberries, a fantastic combination. In my recipe, you’ll see I call for raisins, dried cherries, walnuts, and pistachios. What will you use to stud your chocolate this year? I’d love to know in the messages below!
Dark Chocolate Mendiants
1 12-ounce package 60% cocoa chocolate chips- I use Ghirardelli’s
¼ cup dried cherries
¼ cup walnuts, toasted
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup pistachios, raw or toasted
Melt chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals stirring each time until it is melted and smooth. Use the least amount of heat possible to get this done. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon dollops of chocolate onto the parchment and as they spread, they will become small discs, about 2 ½ inches. Place one of each of the fruits and nuts on each chocolate disc. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator until the discs have hardened. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Just in case you planning a little romance, you may want to have a look at my Champagne for Valentine’s Day post from last year, these bottles will not disappoint! And if you’re looking for a dessert that delivers, check out my Chocolate Lava Cake for your Valentine’s post!
Dark Chocolate Mendiants, remember to tell me how you will top YOUR Mendiant!
Happy Valentine’s Day!!
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