Chocolate for Christmas gifts is of course a necessity. Last year I made ginger chocolates and orange sticks, but what to do this year? A while ago, Susan of A little bit of Heaven on a Plate very kindly sent me a couple of pots of edible gold dust / glitter and I was itching to use them. As soon as I saw White Chocolate Mendiants in Eric Lanlard’s Cox Cookies & Cake, I knew a variation of these would make their way into this year’s hampers. Although I set myself the task to learn chocolate tempering this year, I haven’t actually managed it. I thus continue to be hesitant about making chocolates; although bloom doesn’t really change the taste of chocolate it most certainly makes it look unappealing. Anyway, this is how I gave it a go.
- Drew lots of circles about a couple of centimetres apart on a sheet of greaseproof paper using a pencil and plastic milk bottle top.
- Turned this over so I could see the circles but had no worries about pencil poisoning!
- Into separate bowls put some shelled unsalted pistachios, dried cranberries, dried mango pieces (cut into small strips), dried physalis, blanched almonds split in half, strips of candied orange and lemon peel.
- Melted 150g white cook’s chocolate (Chocolate by Trish) slowly in a bowl suspended over a pan of hot but not yet simmering water.
- Spooned teaspoonfuls of the chocolate into the circles spreading it out to fill the entire circle (made 30).
- Working fast placed a cranberry, pistachio and a piece of mango or phsyalis on each chocolate circle before it set.
- Dusted on some Disco Gold using a small paint brush.
- As soon as set (didn’t take very long in my cold kitchen), peeled the mendiants off with a palette knife.
- Melted 150g 38% milk cook’s chocolate (Chocolate by Trish) using the same method as above, but reserving about 30g which I added after the chocolate was melted. This was an attempt at the seed method of tempering, but without a thermometer it was a bit hit and miss.
- Spooned the melted chocolate into the circles as before (made 30).
- Topped these with cranberries, mango pieces and almonds and left to set.
- Dusted with Disco Gold.
- Melted 150g 72% dark cook’s chocolate (Green & Black’s) using the same method as the milk chocolate (made 32).
- Topped with pieces of candied orange or lemon peel.
- Dusted with Antique Gold.
These mendiants were a huge success and although I made them well over a week ago now, they still look good and my worries about the chocolate blooming has not materialised ….. yet!
Four bags of these have already disappeared into hampers and have now long departed this house.