These red jeweled chocolates make a perfect gift for Valentine’s Day. Mendiants are a French candy traditionally made up of chocolate disks studded with dried fruits and nuts. Their colors represented the different robes of the monastic orders of the church. This version is simple, with just pomegranate and chocolate! The flavors go so well together. The sweet and citrusy pop of the pomegranate aril is refreshing against the deep, rich chocolate. They are perfect together. I considered adding nuts to this, and you can, but I just loved it in this uncomplicated form so much, I didn’t want to change a thing!
I used a mix of chocolates, dark and just a bit of milk chocolate for these photos. I’ve made it with all dark chocolate too (that’s my personal favorite). Both are so good. Use what you (or your Valentine) like best!
- 8 to 10 ounces dark chocolate or semi-sweet chips
- pomegranate arils (fresh or packaged) dried a bit on a paper towel, if needed
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or waxed paper.
- In a heatproof bowl, melt the chocolate in a microwave for 1½ minutes. Give it a stir, then microwave again for 30 second intervals, stirring between each until completely melted.
- Pour about a scant tablespoon of chocolate onto the lined sheets spacing them a couple of inches apart. You can spread the chocolate out with the spoon, if you'd like, but I found that just pouring out all of the puddles of chocolate first, then smacking the pan on the counter works best (hold onto the edges of your parchment paper). The puddles flatten out into perfect disks and it also gets the air bubbles out. Smack one side of the sheet first, then the other.
- Stud the disks with the pomegranate arils then repeat the process on the second sheet. Allow the chocolates to sit for about 10 to 15 minutes to set, or refrigerate for about 5 minutes to speed things up.
If you'd rather, you can melt the chocolate in a double boiler. It's a gentler method and probably preferable. The microwave is just a bit easier and quicker.
These chocolates keep well in a closed container in the refrigerator.