Chocolate Sour Cherry Slice

The other day, my boyfriend had to take a dessert to work for a celebration, so I sent him off with this slice. It's one of my personal favourites, but whenever I send my food off to be tasted by other people, I have a moment of irrational panic (i.e. that they'll hate it and spit it out). But I'm happy to say that this slice was a hit! 

I love the combination of sour cherries and chocolate (have you tried Pana Chocolate's Sour Cherry + Vanilla bar? Yeah, I'm a huge fan). I used unsweetened dried sour cherries in this recipe and adore their sour tang. You can buy them at health food stores or online. But if you can't find them, you could use another dried fruit instead. Finely chopped dried apricots, figs or dried cranberries would be nice.

This recipe makes quite a lot (18 pieces) because I was catering for quite a few people. If I was making it for myself, I'd halve the recipe and set it in a smaller container. I prefer to make smaller batches of sweet food to avoid the temptation to have 'dessert' after every meal (including breakfast).

i n g r e d i e n t s

for the base:

  • 2 cups raw cashew nuts
  • 2 cups unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil + 1/4 cup cacao butter (or 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil) *
  • 1/2 cup rice malt syrup
  • 1 x 20ml tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened dried sour cherries

for the topping:

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 2 x 20ml tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil

p r e p a r a t i o n

  1. Line a 22 x 11 cm loaf tin with baking paper or cling film.
  2. Process the cashew nuts and desiccated coconut in a food processor until you get fine crumbs. Add the cacao powder and salt and process until well combined.
  3. Melt the coconut oil (and cacao butter, if using) in a large saucepan over the lowest heat on your stove. Add the rice malt syrup and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  4. Take the saucepan off the heat, tip the dry ingredients from the food processor and the sour cherries into the saucepan and stir everything together until well combined. Press the mixture into the prepared tin, smoothing the surface with the back of a spoon (and your hands, if need be). Place the tin in the freezer to chill.
  5. To make the topping, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together in a double boiler or in the microwave. Remove the slice from the freezer and pour over the topping. Return the slice to the fridge for a few hours to set. Once set, remove the slice from the tin and cut into squares. Store in the fridge or freezer.

Makes 18 squares.

* I used 1/4 cup coconut oil + 1/4 cup cacao butter because I love the smooth and creamy texture that cacao butter provides. You can buy cacao butter at health food stores or online, but it can be expensive, so just use 1/2 cup coconut oil if you prefer.