Friday, December 23, 2011

Mendiant with Fleur de Sel


A mendiant is a traditional French confection composed of a chocolate disk studded with nuts and dried fruits representing the four mendicant or monastic orders of the Dominicans, Augustinians, Franciscans and Carmelites.  Well, or it simply means indulgence to me!  Smile with tongue out


If you need a simple last minute dessert to complete your Holiday Meal with a sweet ending, this is it! This is a quick and easy treat to make and unbelievably decadent.  I used roasted pistachios, dried cranberries, roasted almond, and candied orange peels as toppings.  You can simply use any dried fruit and nuts you prefer.  I love these toppings because they add so much vibrant Holiday colors to the mendiants.  The different textures and flavor just complement each other really well. 


You can use any premium chocolate that you like, this time, I used a 70% cocoa bittersweet chocolate as the base.  If this is not pure indulgence, I don’t know what is.  Use a sharp serrated knife for chopping to make your life much easier in the process.  I chopped about one pound of chocolate (minus whatever amount that mysteriously disappeared) and started the tempering process.  Please click here for a pictorial on how to temper chocolate.


Beside the dried fruit and nuts, I also sprinkled some Fleur de Sel on top to finish these mendiants off.  The saltiness really compliments the dark chocolate nicely and rounds out the flavor.  The Fleur de Sel also adds a subtle crunch while the smooth and silky chocolate melts in my mouth.  hm….


Fleur de Sel ("Flower of salt" in French) is a hand-harvested sea salt collected by workers who scrape only the top layer of salt before it sinks to the bottom of large salt pans.  They are a little pricey compared to your daily kosher salt or table salt, but it worth every penny.  Besides, you’re going to need just a small amount in a batch of mediants.  Winking smile


If you haven’t decided on your Holiday desserts, or want to add a quick and easy treat to your menu, give this simple recipe a try.  These mendiants will make a lovely addition to your packaged home made gifts as well.  I think Santa will prefer these over the chocolate chip cookies too!  Open-mouthed smile


Mendiant with Fleur de Sel  (Printable Recipe)
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 cup dried fruits and nuts (I used dried cranberries, candied orange peels, roasted pistachios and roasted silver almonds)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Fleur de Sel

Melt 3/4 of the chocolate and espresso powder in a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of 1-inch simmering water.  Please make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.  Stir with a rubber spatula until chocolate is melted.  Do not let chocolate exceed 120 degree F.

Removed bowl from heat and stir in the remaining of the chocolate to cool down and thickened.  When the temperature of the chocolate drops to 82 degree F, place the bowl over the pot of simmering water again until it reaches 88 degree F.  At this point, do not let the temperature of the chocolate gets over 91 degree F.  Otherwise, will need to start the tempering process over.

Drop a small spoonful of melted chocolate onto silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.  Gently top melted chocolate rounds with dried fruit and nuts.  When the chocolate started to cool down a bit, sprinkle Fleur de Sel on top.

Place baking sheet in refrigerator until mendiants are set, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Store in airtight container.


  1. What a beautiful post. Those mendiants would definitely be the perfect ending to a meal.

  2. Delightful! I would love to end a big meal with this.

  3. @ Lisa: Thank you. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    @ Belinda: Thanks. Give these a try and I'm sure you'll love them. Happy Holidays!

  4. Yours look so uniform in shape. I wonder if using a pastry bag would help form more evenly rounded discs.

  5. @Elaine: Actually, I used a spoon, not a pastry bag. When the chocolate is tempered correctly, it's very easy to work with and dropped on the silpat smoothly in a perfect round shape. I would say a spoon is easier than pastry bag because you can control the amount of chocolate in each disk. :) Hope that helps.

  6. Les photos à elles seules,sont délicieuses
    Je te souhaite un bon jour de Noël.

  7. Merci beaucoup, Valérie. Je vous souhaite ainsi qu'à votre famille un Joyeux Noël aussi.

  8. So pretty! I love the colors.

    Hope you had a wonderful holiday! Thanks for linking up to Friday Food!

  9. @Shannon: Hope you had a wonderful Holiday as well. Thanks for hosting Friday Food. :) Love your linky party. Take care.

  10. These all look so good and so pretty, Amy. Thanks for all the good wishes for my daughter and her baby who just arrived tonight and she is perfect. I'll post some pictures tomorrow....Christine

  11. @Christine: Congratulations! What a wonderful news. I look forward to "meeting" your Grand-daughter! :) I feel so happy for you!

  12. It looks so festive! Happy New Year, Amy!

  13. @Raquel: Thank you.

    @Peachins: Thank you so much! Happy New Year to you too. ^^

  14. wow!!Love these...they look so cute too.I am attracted to your blog,because I saw interesting recipes....I am your new follower now....

  15. @Amy: Thank you for your kind words and thank you for following. :) Happy New Year to you and your family. Take care.

  16. Beautiful as always Amy! I hope you and your precious family had a beautiful Christmas and may the coming year be one of abundant blessings and joy! xoxo

  17. @ Lorraine (A multi-dimensional life ): Thank you, my Dear. We had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you and your family a wonderful and prosperous 2012! :)

  18. What a wonderful post. The pictures are just fantastic and as always the food looks terrific. Come visit. We have a couple of really wonderful appetizers this week.

  19. gosh that sure looks good.. i love to have it.