The more I think about it, the more this post is secretly a Christmasy themed one.
The obvious link would be the stupid quantities of red glace cherries used in the filling.
The less obvious one was brought to my attention last night.
Each year my family has a strict tradition when it comes to setting up the Christmas tree. We must all be present. We must all have a cup of tea. Christmas with Bing must be playing and preferably a box of favourites must be present.
I am currently still in Dunedin and so the Christmas tree got put up without me. I received an iMessage from Dad with a picture of the tree. I also got a snap from my brother of him and his girlfriend helping out too.
Mum and Dad, if you are reading this (which I know you will at some point - you get the emails) I am heartbroken. This may take years to heal. I hope you feel good about yourselves. I may not get back on that plane to Auckland next week. I am clearly not part of the family anymore so what's the point?? . . . .
(FYI a Leatherman in my stocking this year will totally compensate for this family faux pas and all will be forgiven)
I take my Christmas traditions very seriously. Someone has to.
But back to that box of favourites. Who here likes cherry ripe bars? Not many, if any. You might be lucky to get one person per household which is enough to gobble up the last wee cherry ripes at the bottom of that favourites box. Dad and I are weirdos. We are probably the only household on this planet that has two cherry ripe enthusiasts. We fight over the last remaining mini bars at the bottom of the box. Since Christmas is the only time we ever get boxes of chocolates, cherry ripes and therefore this slice remind me of Christmas evenings spent with my family.
My beautiful Kitchenaid food processor currently lives at Alex and Tim's house. Along with my rolling pin, my lasagne dish, assorted plastic ware and a multitude of cake tins and tart tins. I was thinking the other day how great it would be to have a drop box but for my kitchenware. So when I got home and started making this slice I realised that I needed the processor to make the filling.
While the Made from Scratch recipe said I could chop the glace cherries by hand, it really didn't provide the same impact in terms of spreading the reddish-pink colour of the cherries throughout the filling. To compensate I added some chopped frozen raspberries. This was good for flavour but still the colour was a bit too pale for my liking. In the end I threw in a couple of drops of food colouring and this seemed to do the trick.
The original recipe asked for 600g/3 1/2 cups of red glace cherries. Funnily enough 1 cup does not equal 200 or so grams which was awkward. I was feeling a bit too poor (slash am I ever not feeling poor?) so I made a two thirds recipe and squished it into my square tin that I got at the op shop for $3 (WINNNNING!!!). In the end I got 300g of cherries (two packets I believe), three cherry ripe bars, not enough coconut and enough condensed milk to make the boys a batch of Russian fudge this week.
So the moral of the story here is to stick to the original recipe
. But if you want the cheaper, non food processor alternative then keep reading. You will however need digital scales . .
Cherry Ripe Slice
(very loosely adapted from Made from Scratch)
Makes 20x20cm tin's worth
For the base:
70g self raising flour
25g desiccated coconut
1/4 cup castor sugar
100g butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 very small egg
For the filling:
300g red glace cherries, finely chopped
250g desiccated coconut
2/3 cup condensed milk
3 cherry ripe bars, chopped
1/2 cup frozen raspberries, chopped
a few drops of pink food colouring
For the topping:
200g dark chocolate
2 teaspoons sunflower oil
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees on bake.
To make the base, mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla and then mix in the egg. Press into a baking tin lined with baking paper and bake for 12-15 minutes.
Finely chop the cherries (or blitz them in a processor) and mix in the coconut, condensed milk, raspberries and food colouring until a nice even pink colour is achieved. Then gently stir in the chopped cherry ripes. Press into the tin over the top of the chocolate base. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top surface turns a light golden colour. Leave to cool completely before covering with the topping.
In a heatproof bowl over saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn't touch the bottom of the pan and no water gets into the bowl), melt the chocolate and oil together. Once smooth and runny, spread over the cooled cherry filling layer. Leave to set in the fridge for a few hours before slicing up with a hot knife.
I'll be sure to save some of this slice for when Dad comes down for graduation this weekend.