March 15, 2012


Mendiants are traditional French chocolates, usually made around the Christmas holidays, decorated with dried fruits & nuts representing four monastic orders: Franciscans (figs), Augustins (hazelnuts), Carmelites (almonds) & Dominicans (raisins). One need not approach these with a denominational or religious bent; beautiful as well as delicious, they are a simple way to explore endless flavor, color & texture combinations, as well as a great way to create lovely gifts & favors.

My latest rendition starts with a bittersweet chocolate medallion, studded with dried Turkish fig, homegrown fresh rosemary sprigs, fleur de sel, & pecans candied with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, creating a delectable combination of sweet, salty, crunchy, bitter/astringent & nutty. It's all I can do not to eat the whole batch...

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