Satisfy all of your sweet cravings with these decadent homemade chocolates. Sweet, salty, and nutty, these gourmet-tasting chocolates are impossibly easy to make. Customize these bite-sized treats with your favorite toppings and fillings and you’ll never be left empty-handed when those late-night chocolate cravings hit!
If you’re like me, you probably have a specific go-to treat in the candy aisle, (hello Snickers bar!). When it comes to chocolates, there are countless shapes, sizes, flavors, and textures available to us, but we all tend to know where to find our favorite combinations. However, if you’re like me, you also know that there’s something special about getting to create your favorite foods all by yourself, like making a classic seasoning mix or chocolate ice cream right in your own kitchen.
That’s why I created a foolproof homemade fruit and nut chocolate recipe that reminds me of the scrumptious mendiants I splurge on when the cravings hit. Making these bite-sized treats at home is cost-effective, incredibly easy, and lots of fun! Top homemade chocolates with anything you’d like to and package them up as a heartfelt gift — or keep them handy in your refrigerator to enjoy anytime.
In the ingredients below I listed what I used, but feel free to use whatever dried fruits and combination of nuts you prefer. Dried pineapple, cranberries, blueberries, raisins, etc.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Dark Chocolate – Melted dark chocolate (look for the 60 to 70% cacao) is the basis for these fruit and nut chocolates. It’s actually packed with nutrition and makes a perfect complement for sweeter toppings like fruits or caramel. If you prefer, you can melt white or milk chocolate for this recipe.
- Chopped Walnuts & Pecans – Chopped nuts add some wonderful crunch and nutty flavor, especially when toasted. Use any chopped nuts you’d like for this recipe, including almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, or pistachios.
- Pumpkin Seeds – For an extra layer of salty nuttiness that pairs perfectly with dark chocolate!
- Dried Cranberries – Use any dried fruits of your choice, including cherries, açai berries, raisins, pineapple, or blueberries. Fresh fruits won’t work as well when the chocolate sets.
- Candied Ginger – I like this as a satisfying, sugary-sweet topping, and the ginger adds a bit of zing to each bite. Use candied nuts instead if you’d like!
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CHOCOLATES
- Toast The Nuts. Spread nuts on a sheet pan and toast them in the oven at 350°F for five minutes. You don’t want them to get too dark — just lightly browned and fragrant.
- Chop Your Toppings. Give your dried fruits and candied ginger a rough chop to break them into small chunks.
- Melt Chocolate. In a microwave-safe measuring cup, melt your chocolate at half-power for one minute and give it a good stir. Continue to microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring between each until there are no lumps.
- Prepare Your Molds. Spray a silicone ice cube tray with non-stick baking spray. Divide the melted chocolate into the ice cube molds and sprinkle your dried fruit and nuts on top.
- Refrigerate. Place ice cube trays in the refrigerator for at least two hours, until the treats are firm and solidified.
- Remove, Serve & Store. Pop the hardened fruit and nut chocolate pieces out of the ice cube trays. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator to keep longer.
Is Dark Chocolate Healthier?
Dark chocolate contains lots of beneficial antioxidants, which can be good for fighting heart disease and lowering blood pressure. Plus, making fresh, homemade chocolates yourself means you know there’s no artificial ingredients or fillers!
What Toppings Go Well With Dark Chocolate?
Dark chocolate features a bit more of a robust, slightly bitter flavor than creamy, sweet milk chocolate does. Therefore, it pairs well with sweeter toppings like caramel sauce, coconut, and dried fruits such as apricots, strawberries, or bananas.
Salt also helps bring out the sweetness of dark chocolate while masking its bitterness, so toppings like sea salt flakes, pretzels, nuts, and even spicy cayenne pepper are great complements. There’s a reason they are commonly found in dark chocolate mendiants!
What Are Mendiants?
A mendiant is a traditional French confection composed of a chocolate disk studded with nuts and dried fruits. Mine are cubed due to the molds, but feel free to find other molds online.
How Long Will Homemade Chocolates Last?
If stored at room temperature in an airtight container, mendiants will last up to three weeks. In the refrigerator or freezer, they can last several months!
Fruit and Nut Homemade Chocolates
- 12 ounces dark chocolate melted
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried fruit of choice
- 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp diced candied ginger
- Toast nuts in 350°F oven for 5 minutes. Set aside. Chop the dried fruit and candied ginger into small chunks, set aside.
- Melt the chocolate to a microwave-safe measuring cup. Microwave at half-power for 1 minute, then stir. Microwave again at 15 second intervals, stir until melted and no lumps.
- Spray small silicon ice cube trays with non stick baking spray.
- Divide melted chocolate in the ice cube trays. Top with dried fruit and nuts. Refrigerate 2 hours to set chocolate.
- Carefully pop out of trays and store in air tight container. Keep at room temp or in refrigerator for longer.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.