dark chocolate 'mendiants' with smoked salt & toasted seedsdark chocolate 'mendiants' with smoked salt & toasted seedsdark chocolate 'mendiants' with smoked salt & toasted seedsdark chocolate 'mendiants' with smoked salt & toasted seedsdark chocolate 'mendiants' with smoked salt & toasted seedsdark chocolate 'mendiants' with smoked salt & toasted seeds

Even though they’re SMOKY-SALTY-TOASTY-CRUNCHY, it breaks my heart to publish a chocolate holiday recipe today. As you may have noticed on the social networks, I’ve spent a few on-and-off working and vacationing weeks experimenting with different bread doughs, simply or in weird combinations. Like I said, the weeks that I’m off work are always “RESTing & TESTing” weeks and perhaps a soda bread recipe would have been perfect right before Saint-Patrick’s Day, but I’m just going to take my time with those because the Easters & Passovers (all diverse versions) are all coming up sooner than we think.

Last week I was having a working lunch meeting in perhaps one of the best restaurants in Paris that I’ve ever had the pleasure of dining in and I was too busy to think about food choices so I just ordered the daily menu without even knowing what it was. It was all quite perfect and delicate yet daring … and then came the dessert (siiiiiiiigh).

I don’t exactly know what it was because it was nameless, just the “dessert du jour” on that Friday but it had some chocolate sphere side elements in it (by the way, chocolate tends to be my last choice when choosing desserts) but I swear-swear-swear that I’m sure that the chocolate was “smoked” and it blew me away ! I don’t even remember the other elements of the dessert, was it cake, ice cream, biscuit, was there a cream somewhere ? I don’t know and I don’t care. The chocolate was the star and here’s what I’m doing with that moment to “re-live” it.

What am I showing you here (for those of you that are not French) ?

Here’s an official definition : a mendiant is a traditional French confection composed of a chocolate disk studded with nuts and dried fruits   representing the four mendicant or monastic orders. Each of the ingredients used refer to the color of monastic robes. Tradition dictates that raisins stand for the Augustinians, hazelnuts for the Carmelites, dried figs for the Franciscans and almonds for the Dominicans.  

Chocolate mendiants are often made during the holiday seasons, just by pouring melted chocolate on waxed paper to form individual circles and then topping off with stuff. It was time for an adult version, in preparation for (or to further encourage) the almost acceptable outdoor barbecue season that should be coming soon enough and hopefully on April 1styeah FOOLS !

This week’s recipe : something bite-sized, chocolate, bitter-sweet and slightly salty, smoky, toasty, crunchy. It’s also quick & easy (which is a rarity for me).

A few more spring holiday recipes will be coming up in the next 2 weeks (a reinterpretation of a baked, sweet, bready something and a more traditional meaty, juicy, roasted something).

I’ll get back to my testing & experimenting & finally sharing of my past, present & future bread & dough resuklts in April and May (after all the main holidays are over) so in the meantime, just enjoy and try to take it easy . . . :)

dark chocolate 'mendiants' with smoked salt & toasted seeds


24 mendiants (6 grams each and measuring 35 mm x 5 mm)


  • 125 grams (½ cup) 70% dark chocolate (melted)
  • 25 grams (2 ½ tbsp) toasted seeds (like those used for bread mixes : sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, flax, quinoa, poppy)
  • 1,25 grams (1/8 + ¼ tsp) hickory-smoked salt (or use fine ‘fleur de sel’ sea salt flakes)
  • optional : 0,5 ml (1/8 tsp) liquid smoke extract
  • 1,25 ml (¼ tsp) vanilla extract


  • begin by toasting the seeds in a hot pan at high heat until fragrant (for about 5 minutes) and set aside
  • melt 2/3 of the chocolate in a double boiler and add the extract(s) and a bit of the salt (about 1/8 tsp) and then add the remaining 1/3 of the chocolate, mix again until melted and set aside
  • pour the melted chocolate in a flat silicon mold (mine has 24 cavities measuring 35 mm each in diameter and 3,5 mm high and contains about 1 tsp of melted chocolate each) or simply pour ½ tbsp or 1 tbsp of melted chocolate on a sheet of waxed paper on a baking sheet, to create individual circles
  • sprinkle with the toasted seeds and then the remaining salt and let harden at room temperature for 1 hour minimum
  • reserve in an air-tight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature.