Here’s an idea from Éclat Chocolate, an artisan chocolatier in West Chester, Pennsylvania (shipping nationwide, of course).
They topped a cup of hot chocolate (photo #1) with one of their “mendiants” or “mondiants,” plain or filled chocolate disks.
The disks melt, of course, making an even more chocolatey cup of hot chocolate (photo #2).
As the chocolate melts into the drink, you can eat the melty chocolate with a spoon, or stir it into the beverage.
It’s much richer than stirring in a garnish of whipped cream.
French mendiants (photo #4) are different from what Éclat calls mendiants (photo #2—see footnote for an explanation of the classic French mendiants).
Éclat’s mendiants are plain chocolate disks, available in five varieties.
“Mondiants” are a name created by Éclat to describe filled disks of chocolate. They’re available in:
In addition to enjoying one as a nice piece of chocolate, either mendiant or mondiant can be:
From Eclat’s mendiants and mondiants to the others shown in the photos, all are welcome holiday gifts for those who appreciate fine chocolate.
*Mendiants (French for mendicants, i.e. beggars) are traditional French chocolates: disks or bars of chocolate that are studded with nuts and dried fruits. Mendiants can also be made in large slabs and then broken into smaller pieces, like bark.
The colors of the nuts and fruits traditionally referenced the color of the monastic robes of the orders of the Augustinians (hazelnuts), Carmelites (almonds), Dominicans (raisins) and Franciscans (dried fig—photo #4). Today, a wider variety of fruits, peels and seeds are used: candied orange peel, dried cranberries and coconut, for example.
Unlike chocolate bars that enrobe the nuts and fruits, mendiants are created with the fruits and nuts studded on top, to offer visual appeal.
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