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Chocolate Delight Mendiant Tart

Sorry folks but English fruit cake is an acquired taste. Of course, there are thousands of family recipes and maybe I have not found “that” one yet, but somehow the combination of dried fruit, rum and cake simply does nothing for me.

On the other hand, did you say chocolate? Chocolate Mendiant Tart is dark as night; each delicious bite filled with mysterious bites of dried fruit, nuts. Traditionally, this dessert is served around the Christmas period. The recipe (below) is from Cocoa & Lavender, where David explains that

Mendiants (which translates to mendicants or beggars) are chocolate palets topped with dried fruits and nuts that represent the four branches of mendicant Catholicism: raisins for Dominicans, hazelnuts for Augustinians, almonds for Carmelites, and figs for Franciscans, toppings that approximate the colors of their monastic garb.

Chocolate Mendiant Tart Recipe Christmas @CocoaandLavender

Mendiant Tart

A flaky sweet pastry tart filled with decadent chocolate ganache and topped with candied fruits, flowers and fleur de sel,
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 6 people


Tart Shell (Makes 2 shells)

  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour plus more for flouring work surface
  • 1 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 16 tbsp cold butter cubed
  • Nonstick baking spray

Chocolate Ganache

  • 8 oz 60 to 70 percent-cacao dark chocolate chopped
  • 1 1/2 heavy cream (35%)
  • 2 tbsp full-flavored honey
  • pinch kosher salt

Ganache Toppings

  • shelled pistachios
  • glacéed citron
  • candied ginger
  • candied violet petals
  • fleur de sel


  • First, make the tart shell. This recipe will make enough for two tarts - the second shell can be frozen for future use.
  • In a small bowl, combine the vanilla, 1 whole egg and the yolk of another, reserving the remaining egg white for sealing the baked shell.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar and salt.
  • Mix on low speed, then add the butter and continue until mixture has a sandy consistency, about 2 minutes.
  • Add vanilla-egg mixture and continue to mix until the dough comes together around the paddle, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Divide dough into 2 disks and wrap individually in plastic. Chill until dough is cold but not too hard to roll, about 40 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 325°F.
  • Apply baking spray to a fluted 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness, about 12 inches in diameter.
  • Gently roll dough onto a floured rolling pin, and unroll into tart pan. Press dough into pan’s corners, being sure it remains the same thickness all around. Roll the rolling pin across pan edges to cut off excess dough.
  • Place pan in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  • Line tart shell with aluminum foil, and fill with pie weights, dry beans or rice.
  • Bake until edges of dough start to color, about 12 minutes. Remove parchment and weights.
  • Return to oven until base of pastry loses its sheen and is slightly golden, another 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Lightly whisk the reserved egg white, and brush it over the entire inner surface of the hot shell.
  • Return shell to oven to dry the egg white, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before filling.

Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • While pastry shell is cooling, make the ganache. Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.
  • In a small saucepan, combine cream, honey and salt.
  • Bring to a simmer and immediately pour over the chocolate; allow to sit for 1 minute.
  • Gently stir the mixture to create a silky ganache.
  • Pour ganache into shell, filling it to the brim.
  • Allow to rest in a cool place for 10 minutes so chocolate can lightly set.
  • Gently place all toppings, except for salt, on the ganache surface.
  • Let rest in a cool place for another hour, or refrigerate for 20 minutes for a faster set.


Serve at room temperature, slicing with a sharp knife first dipped in hot water. Serve fleur de sel on the side, letting your guests sprinkle a little on their slices. If you add the salt to the tart too early, the moisture from the ganache will dissolve the salt. Not pretty and it lacks the crunchy texture, although it tastes fine.
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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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