Mendiants are a Christmas tradition in Provence in France. They are small chocolates, to which you add small sized nuts and crystallized fruit. At Christmas time all the pastry shops in France have them with all sorts of choices of fruits and nuts and even edible gold leaf. —Babette's Feast
raisins without seeds
pieces crystallized ginger
strips crystalized orange
Fleur de Sel
In This Recipe
Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Cut the almonds in halves vertically.
Put the blanched almonds, blanched pistacchios and blanched hazelnuts on a tray and dry in the oven until lightly golden - about 8 minutes.
Put 3/4 of the chocolate in a bain-marie until melted and smooth. Remove from the bain -marie and add the remainder 1/4 of chocolate cut in small pieces and mix well until all the chocolate is melted. This procedure is used to lower the chocolate temperature and make it shiny.
Cut the crystallized orange in very thin strips and then cut them again so they are smaller then the diametre of the chocolate. Cut the crystallized ginger in very small cubes. Chopp the pistacchios in coarse pieces.
Line a tray with plastic film or parchment paper. Put 2 teaspoons of chocolate leaving some space between each chocolate. You can make them round (the most common),square, or whatever shape you like. Smoothen each chocolate with the back of the spoon.
Put on top of each chocolate, half an almond, one hazelnut, 2 little pieces of candied ginger and one strip or candied orange rind in such a wat that they look pretty as this will be the ned result of your mediants. Sprinkle with some chopped pistacchios, add 2 or 3 crystals of Fleur de Sel to each chocolate and allow the chocolates to cool down and get totally hard.
Carefully loosen the chcolates and put on a pretty serving plate to eat after dinner.