Developed by Aneesh Popat (The Chocolatier) on behalf of the Almond Board of California.
Serves: 20 dark chocolate discs and 20 milk chocolate discs
- 200g Milk Chocolate
- 200g Dark Chocolate
- 40 Almonds
- 40 Coconut Flakes
- 40 strips, Orange peel (3-4cm)
- The day before you make the mendiants, boil the orange peel to remove bitterness by repeatedly boiling in fresh water for 15 minutes, 3 times. Candy the orange peel by boiling in simple syrup for 30 mins. You can make your own simple syrup at home by mixing 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar and heating slowly while stirring. Bring it close to the boil but do not boil the mixture and ensure the sugar has fully dissolved. Once the orange strips have candied in the simple syrup, drain them, toss them in icing sugar and set aside
- Soak the almonds in boiling water overnight, covering the bowl with cling film.
- The next day remove the skins off the almonds.
- Lay the blanched almonds on a baking tray and bake for 25 mins at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. The secret behind a good mendiant is lots of different textures so getting the crispest nut is key. It should completely break up into little morsels when bitten.
- Roast coconut curls in medium heat till golden brown and allow to cool before use.
- Temper the milk and dark chocolates. Start by breaking your chocolate into small button-sized pieces. Microwave the chocolate for 1 minute in a plastic bowl, as it does not conduct heat like glass, so you will have more control over the chocolate’s temperature. Take the bowl out and toss the chocolate in the bowl. Repeat this until the chocolate softens. Now repeat the heating for 30 seconds and stir in between each heating. Repeat this process until the chocolate is nearly liquid but still has some solid chocolate – this is incredibly important as the solid chocolate will keep your chocolate tempered. Stir the chocolate and allow it sit at room temperature so that the solid chocolate slowly melts into the liquid chocolate.
- Pipe tempered milk and dark chocolate discs approximately 4cm in diameter onto parchment paper or acetate. Place a roasted (cooled) almond, one strip of candied orange and a roasted coconut curl on each disc. Allow to set for 15-20 minutes at room temperature or for 5 minutes in the fridge before enjoying!