I call these babies my ‘Rose Mendiants’ as they are as pretty a rose can be. Mendiants are little discs of melted chocolate topped with an assortment of toasted nuts and dried or freeze dried fuits. If you can melt chocolate then you can make these beautiful mendiants!
These ruby chocolate mendiants are just so delicious. For those of you that haven’t tasted ruby chocolate, it is sweet and sour at the same time, very much reminding me of various berries. Ruby chocolate is fairly new to the market, with it’s first arrival in 2017 and is classed as the 4th type of chocolate. Dark, milk, white and ruby chocolate when tempered down make the most amazing creations perfect for gifts or just eating on a lazy Sunday on the sofa like I do.
Mendiants are typcially made using tempered chocolate. You can of course make them just by melting the chocolate but you won’t get the same glossy shine or snap that tempering the chocolate provides. When I first made these, I thought I had all my equipment, a thermometer, a piping bag a double boiler but when I actually started to make them I realised that my thermometer was actually a jam thermometer and didn’t work for chocolate so there I was trying to take the temperature using my infrared baby thermometer. Which I then realised didn’t go as low in temperature as needed but at least it did provide me with the highest temperature I was allowed to reach.
Tempering chocolate is a lot more difficult than I thought. Having watched people doing this on The Great British Bake off, I knew it was hard but had no idea just how precisely the temperatures had to be. And there I was always screaming at the tv, ‘come on how hard can it be you goose’. Ooops my bad!
I have designed the recipe below for people who do NOT have the right thermometer but also give the temperatures to follow if you do have one.
RUBY CHOCOLATE MENDIANTS
To make mendiants, if you have a digital or probe thermometer then brilliant, use that ( no a jam thermometer will not work). If you don’t have a thermometer then follow the below instructions and you should be fine. You can make mendiants with any chocolate you like, I just happen to have Ruby Chocolate in stock which is my favourite! And like I said, you don’t have to temper the chocolate. If you don’t they will still taste amazing but won’t have the same gloss or snap of tempered chocolate and won’t keep fresh for as long which is perfect if you plan on eating them in the next 2-3 days.
There are a few methods for tempering chocolate but I find this the most workable method for the regular home cook. Simply melting the chocolate and adding in more chocolate pieces, naturally lowers the temperature and allows the crystalization that is needed for tempered chocolate and then the last step is to just raise the temperature a fraction before you are ready to use.
- 300 g Ruby Chocolate drops (or finely chopped pieces)
- to decorate: assortment of toasted nuts, dried fruits, freeze dried fruits work great and my son likes a few sprinkles on his ones
Seperate the chocolate into a 2/3 and 1/3 ratio (200 g and 100 g).
Over a low heat, bring half a saucepan of water to a simmer. Once simmering, place a glass or heat proof bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water in the pan. This acts as a double boiler or bain marie.
Add in the 200 g of chocolate to the bowl and with a spatula stir as the chocolate melts. If you have a thermometer, check the temperature, when it reaches the right temperature, take the bowl off the saucepan and place on the countertop. For dark chocolate, you want to reach 56-58° C, for milk chocolate 46-50° C and for white or ruby chocolate 43-45° C.
If you do not have a thermometer, the very moment that you only have a few small pieces of unmelted chocolate in the bowl, take the bowl off the saucepan and place it on the countertop. The remaining pieces will melt in a fraction of a moment while stirring. Leave the saucepan of water simmering on the heat.
Add in the remaining 100 g of chocolate drops and stir, this lowers the temperature of the melted chocolate. If using a thermometer, you want to lower the temperature to 27-29° C for dark chocolate, 26-28° C for milk chocolate and 25-27° C for white or ruby chocolate.
If you don’t have a thermometer, after adding in the remaining chocolate pieces, continously stir for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to keep cooling.
Once cooled, pop the bowl of chocolate back onto the simmering water until the temperatures reaches 30-32° C for dark chocolate, 28-30° C for milk chocolate and 27-29° C for white or ruby chocolate.
Basically just heating it for 20 -30 seconds raises the temp by 2 degrees as long as the saucepan of water isn’t boiling (you just want a very gentle simmer).
Pour the chocolate into a piping bag and immediately pipe out round discs onto parchment paper.
If tempered properly, the chocolate will begin to harrden fairly quickly so get those toppings on as soon as you have your discs piped out.
Allow to cool fully at room temp for at least 2 hours before moving into a box or air tight container. Do not stor in the fridge!