Friday, January 17, 2014

Cherry Ripe Slice

My husband is originally from Australia, and so I have been introduced to lots of Australian people, phrases, bizarre animals, foods, and cultural differences during the last several years.

One of my favorites is a candy bar called a "Cherry Ripe".  It has a coconut and cherry filling, and is
covered in chocolate.  The whole family loves these things.  

Another Aussie thing I've discovered are "slices".  A slice is a particular kind of what we Yankees would call a bar cookie.  A slice seems to usually have a crust on the bottom, usually something resembling a shortbread-ish kind of thing, then some sort of filling on top.  I've tried lemon slice and caramel slice, for example, both delicious. 

So when a friend (who I met in college, got to know in Ukraine, and who now lives in Australia) gave me a recipe for a Cherry-Ripe Slice, I knew this was one I was going to try.  And devour.  It's especially nice for the holidays, with the red cherries-  but delicious and appreciated any time of year.  Especially when you can't get your hands on a Cherry Ripe.  (Thanks, Laura!)

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oy, oy, oy! 

The Step-By-Step

Make the Crust

Melt some butter.  Mix it with brown sugar.  Stir, stir.  Mix, mix.

Add flour and baking powder.  Mix, mix.  Stir, stir.

Like so.

Now dump that stuff into a pan and press flat with your fingers.  Set that aside for the moment.

Make the Filling and Bake

Now for the filling:  Crack two eggs into a mixing bowl and beat them a little.  It's okay, they like it.

Throw in some coconut and sweetened condensed milk.

Add some chopped candied cherries (I think for Aussies these are called glacĂ© cherries).  You can also mix in a drop or two of red food coloring, if you like.

Now spread that filling on your crust in a nice even layer.  And pop it in the oven for a bit.

Make the Chocolate Topping

Melt some chocolate and a "spludge" (as my three-year-old says) of butter in a double boiler (or in a heat-proof bowl sitting on top of a simmering pot of water.)

Spread the chocolate on the baked, cooled stuff in the pan.  Stick it in the fridge for 20 minutes or so, until the chocolate is set.

Slice into delectable little mouthfuls.  Plan a trip to Australia.

The Recipe 


2/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 beaten eggs
1 can (395grams) sweetened condensed milk
3 cups shredded or dessicated coconut 
1-2 drops red food coloring (optional)
2 cups chopped candied (glacé) cherries
200 grams dark chocolate
1 Tablespoon butter

For the Crust:
Mix 2/3 c melted butter with brown sugar in a mixing bowl.  Add flour and baking powder.  Combine and press into an 8" x 8" square pan.  Set aside.

For the Filling:
Beat 2 eggs in a mixing bowl. Add sweetened condensed milk and coconut, mix well.  Chop candied cherries and mix in (along with food coloring, if desired).  Spread filling over the crust.  Bake 18-20 minutes at 350F (175C).  Cool.

For the Chocolate Topping:
In a double boiler (or heatproof bowl set on top of a simmering pan of water), melt the chocolate and the 1 Tablespoon butter together.  When completely smooth, spread evenly over the cooled coconut mixture.  Refrigerate at least 20 minutes until the chocolate has set.  Cut into squares.