Hello, my fellow foodies and welcome to my April recipe!
This month I would like to share with you my take on an Australian confection. A good friend and I were talking of her time in Australia and she were describing to me her favourite and much missed chocolate treat called a ‘Cherry Ripe’. I set about trying to recreate something similar in a bid to cheer her up, and this is what I came up with!
Cherry Ripe ‘Traybake Style’
175g self-raising flour
2tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g butter (at room temperature)
600g glacé cherries
125g condensed milk
150g desiccated coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g dark chocolate
Let’s begin by preparing a 25cm square, deep sided baking tin. I lined mine with foil-backed grease proof parchment for its strength and non-stick qualities.
Next, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and butter until you have the texture of breadcrumbs. Then add enough of the milk to bring the mixture together to a ‘ball’ but take care not to over mix. Now, spread this on the base of the tin pressing down for an even finish and bake for 15-20 mins until cooked through. Leave this to cool.
Now let’s create the middle layer. Whizz together the cherries, condensed milk, coconut and vanilla to form a paste-like consistency. You may choose to hold back some of the cherries and add in last minute to create some texture or interest to this layer. You may also like to add a drop or two of pink food colouring: the choice is yours! Once the bottom layer is completely cool, pour over the coconut and cherry mixture and spread or lightly tap the mixture to a nice even finish. This could now go in the fridge to help it chill and set.
In the meantime, break the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place that over a pan of nearly boiling water to melt. Once it has melted stir in the butter, mix completely together then pour the chocolate over the coconut and cherry layer, tilt the tray to move the chocolate to cover the entire surface in an even layer of chocolate and then cool again in the fridge.
Once the chocolate is set, all that remains is for you for to decide what size pieces you need to cut. If you struggle to cut through the chocolate layer my top tip would be to heat the knife in hot water first and “melt” through it rather than cut it. One final note, I find, if you can bare to wait, that the middle layer becomes slightly firmer if left over night.
Until next time dear reader…