Kate Lewis
  • Yield: 12 pieces

All ingredient amounts are approximate: use more or less depending on what you have. About a half tablespoon of melted chocolate makes a thin 2 to 2 1⁄2-inch thin confection, but figure in a little bit of extra chocolate for chocolate that sticks to the spoon. Tempered chocolate sets fast, so you will have to add the toppings quickly. If the melted chocolate is not tempered, it will stay liquid for an hour, at least.


3ounces dark chocolate (70 to 72%), melted and kept warm in a water bath
6 walnuts, halved or quartered
10 almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2ounce candied ginger, slivered or cubed
1 1/4ounces any dried fruit, slivered or cubed if large
1/4ounce pine nuts (about 24)


  1. Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap or parchment paper.
  2. Drop a tablespoonful of the chocolate onto the sheet and use the back of a spoon to spread it into a thin round about 2 to 21⁄2 inches in diameter. Keep the thickness of the round as even as possible.
  3. Make only 6 at a time to ensure that the chocolate doesn’t set before the toppings are added. For each mendiant, arrange a walnut half, a couple of pieces of almond, some of the ginger, a piece of another dried fruit, and 2 or 3 pine nuts on top of the chocolate, creating your own design. Repeat until you have used all of the melted chocolate, nuts, and fruits. Allow the mendiants to harden at room temperature. You can speed the process by placing the tray in the refrigerator. Serve on a pretty tray and refrigerate any leftover mendiants in an airtight container for up to four days.

Recipe from Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts by Fran Costigan (Running Press, 2014)