Thursday, 23 August 2012

Cherry Ripe Bars - We Should Cocoa

Phew! I got these Cherry Ripe Bars done just in time for this month's We Should Cocoa challenge to use cherries and chocolate together. I planned to use the recipe much earlier in the month, as soon as I decided that I wouldn't be using fresh cherries, but time ran away with me and I've only just got round to making them.

The recipe is from Dan Lepard's Guardian column, and is inspired by the famous Australian confection of the same name. I used naturally coloured glacé cherries, so my version isn't quite such a vivid colour, even though I added some red food colouring. I also only used 2/3 of the filling ingredients to give what seems to me to be a better ratio of cherry to chocolate layers. For economy, I also cut down the chocolate to 200g, and this still gives an ample thickness of topping. I also added a tablespoon of sunflower oil to the topping to stop it setting too crisply, as it can then be difficult to cut neatly.

As this photo shows, it was still difficult to cut this traybake into neat pieces - the chocolate was thick and the middle layer squidgy, which resulted in broken chocolate, squeezed out middles and fingerprints and crumbs everywhere. This is definitley not something to impress with its looks, unless you know the secret to neat, precise cutting - which I evidently don't!

This is a really delicious treat! The base is a cross between pastry and a chewy cookie and the filling is sweet and sticky, with the mix of cherries and coconut giving a surprising flavour which tastes more of coconut than cherries. However, I have never eaten glacé cherries in bulk - I think I expected a stronger flavour - more like the old fashioned pink liquid antibiotic! Using a strongly flavoured 70%+ chocolate on top helps balance the sweetness of the filling. They are very rich - I cut them into small squares of roughly 3cm, and found it difficult to eat two at a time!

We Should Cocoa is a monthly chocolate challenge hosted alternately by Choclette at Chocolate Log Blog, and Chele at Chocolate Teapot. This month's challenge to use cherries with chocolate was chosen by guest host Janice at Farmersgirl Kitchen, who will also be publishing a round-up of entries at the end of the month.

7 comments:

Janice said...

ooh they look lovely even if they are squiding out the sides! Yes, always a challenge to cut this type of traybake neatly, have you tried putting your knife into a jug of boiling water? The hot knife should slide through the chocolate. Thanks for entering We Should Cocoa this month.

belleau kitchen said...

'the chocolate is thick and the middle squidgy' are there any better words in the English language!... divine!

Choclette said...

Ooh coconut and cherries remind me of a traybake I used to make and can't quite remember any more. These sorts of bakes are virtually impossible to cut neatly I find, but they look scrummy and that and the taste are what counts. Great idea Suelle and something a little different too. Thanks for your continued support of WSC :)

Baking Addict said...

I can never get lovely neat squares like that. These look great, a lovely entry for we should cocoa.

Foodycat said...

Mmm cherry ripe! The coconut filling looks so good!

Phil in the Kitchen said...

Now that's what I call a treat. It may just be me, but I'd rather a traybake didn't look too neat.

Caroline said...

I've given up on trying to cut things like that neatly, but having said that, yours look pretty good to me. I like the depth of chocolate you've got on the top - deeper than Dan's picture!