(Recipe) Cherry Ripe Bars
(Recipe) Cherry Ripe Bars
Prep Time: 30 minutes / Cooking: 40 minutes
Serves 10 bars
I wonder if you have ever heard of the marvel of “cherry ripe”?
Let me make the formal introduction because, unless you are an Australian, have lived there, or you’re married to an Australian, you probably haven’t…
- 500 g / 17.5 oz ripe cherries, pitted
- 10 ml / 2 tsp vanilla extract, optional
- 100 g / ½ cup sugar*
- 250 g / 8.8 oz (approx. 3 cups) desiccated* coconut
- 37 g / 3 tbsp coconut oil or vegan butter, divided
- pinch of fine salt
- 200 g / 7 oz vegan dark chocolate*
- Place pitted cherries, sugar and vanilla (if using) in a medium size pot.
- Set the pot on a low heat and stir frequently until cherries release their juices so there is no danger of the cherries getting scorched.
- Allow the cherries to simmer gently, until the fruit softens and the liquid changes into thick syrup (i.e. excess moisture evaporates) – it takes about 30-40 minutes depending on the juiciness of your cherries. Stir from time to time. Allow to cool.
- Transfer cherries and their juices to a food processor, add desiccated coconut, 2 tbsp (25 g) of coconut oil and salt and pulse a few times until you obtain a homogenous, sticky mixture.
- Line a tray or trays – I used two 20 cm / 8″ x 10 cm / 4″ banana bread tins with baking paper.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of your tin/tins – you can make the bars as thin or thick as you like – typically they are quite thin so I filled my tins to only about 1.25 cm / 0.5″ height.
- Freeze for 2-3 hours to be able to slice the slab into bars neatly.
- Gently melt broken up chocolate and the remaining 1 tbsp (12 g) of coconut oil in a bowl suspended over a water bath.
- Once your chocolate has melted, take cherry ripe slab out of the freezer and cut into bars of desired size. Mine are 10 cm / 4″ long and 4 cm / 1.5″ wide.
- Dip each bar in the melted chocolate, drain it on your fork and set aside for the chocolate to set. Once it no longer looks wet, pop the bars into the freezer. Store in the freezer for up to a month.
*SUGAR: use any sugar you like, I used caster sugar but coconut sugar will work just as well. You could also use maple syrup (a little less as it’s sweeter than sugar) and softened dates but they will change the colour of the filling making the bars look less appetising.
*DESICCATED COCONUT: use finely shredded (see photos) and unsweetened variety of desiccated coconut. It is widely available in the UK baking aisles, but I know from my readers that in the USA it can sometimes be already sweetened. If sweetened is the only version you can get, simply use less (or none at all) sugar and you may also need to use a little less coconut as not adding sugar will make the mixture drier.
*CHOCOLATE: I used dark (70% cacao) vegan chocolate to coat these bars – if your bars are different size (have smaller surface area in total), you may not need as much chocolate to coat them. If you’d rather not use commercial chocolate, use equal amount of cacao power and coconut oil (for example ¼ cup each) and sweeten with a touch of icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar) or maple syrup.