1 September 2011

Chocolate and Glacé Cherry Slice

These pretty little bars had me sitting on the fence to begin with. You know those treats you just can't decide what you quite think of them, I knew they were darn yummy but they weren't exactly how I expected and this left me pondering! After I accepted them for what they were though they kind of disappeared over night..I found myself going up to 'sample' another...and another...My Mum's partner LOVED them from the start, he never ate less than 3 in one sitting, no exaggeration!

The reason I didn't instantly swoon over these sweet slice's was because I was expecting the overwhelming flavour to be of cherry considering the rather generous amount of them it contains. However I cannot honestly say there is any cherry taste at all! I suppose glacé cherries have a relatively mild flavour in themselves which I didn't really take into account. Once that initial 'oh..?' moment elapsed I was left appreciating what I can only describe as a homemade bounty/mounds bar - just jazzed up! It's as if the cherries were there to beautify the classic favourite, so if you are a fan of coconutty-chocco bars then these are SO for you!

It takes a bit of time as there are a couple of chill-sessions needed between layers but each part is simple to put together, there is only 20 minutes of actual baking time and the final product is truly lovely. The only fiddly bit is chopping up all those little cherries! I might well try using the food processor next time but if you don't have one, no worries it's do-able without, you just have very sticky fingers to lick off afterwards!

Fancy the glam older sister of the silently sexy bounty? Look no further, she's here for the taking :)

Chocolate and Glacé Cherry Slice
Adapted from Cakes and Slices by Murdoch Books

For the base
1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (40g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup (90g) caster sugar
125g / 4 1/2 oz unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling
2 cups (200g) glacé cherries, finely chopped
1/2 cup (60g) icing/confectioner's sugar
1 3/4 cups (150g) desiccated coconut
1/2 cup (125ml / 4 fl oz) condensed milk
50g (2 oz) unsalted butter, melted

For the topping
150g dark chocolate, chopped bars or chips
25g (1oz) unsalted butter

For the crust: Line a 7 x 10 1/2 inch (18 x 27cm) shallow tin with baking parchment leaving the paper overhanging the 2 longest sides
Sift the flour, cocoa and sugar into a bowl. Add the butter and vanilla, mix to form a dough*
Press the dough evenly into the pan and freeze for 20 minutes **
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F
Cover crust with parchment and bake for 10 minutes, remove the parchment and bake for 5-10 minutes more
Let cool completely

For the filling: Combine the cherries, icing sugar and coconut. Stir in the condensed milk and butter then spread evenly over the cooled crust. Chill for 30 minutes

For the topping: melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water*** 
Pour and spread evenly over the cherry mix
Chill until set and store in the refrigerator. In my humble opinion these are nicest served cold :)

* The original method was very vague. It did not specify what state the butter should be in, I softened it to the point of melting and stirred it in. This left me with a very soft dough that I squished straight into the pan but was quite messy. Next time I might try using cold butter and rubbing it in with my finger tips
** Alternatively refrigerate for 20 minutes then cover with parchment, weigh down with beans/rice/weights, bake for 10-15 minutes, remove paper/weights and bake for 5 minutes more
*** I was lazy and melted the chocolate in the microwave by blasting it for 1 minute, then continuing in 30 second intervals until completely melted. I then stirred in the softened butter

Click for your Coconutty Printable
Ps. It was my birthday 2 days ago (20...Ahhh!) and do I have a cracker of a cake to share with you, I literally can't wait! Just to tempt you a bit - it has a double whammy of booze and is deeeeeply chocolatey. It's so good it's absolutely all gone, but there are no calories in birthday cake right..? :)

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