If you are from Australia or lived in Australia, you will know about these chocolate bars called Cherry Ripe. They are easily available in Australia but are hard to come by even in the neighbouring country of New Zealand. These pleasurable bars contain a filling of coconut and cherries and an outer casing of chocolate. More recently, there has been a “Dark” Cherry ripe where the outer casing is made of dark chocolate and it is awesome. You might think a Bounty bar is the best thing in the world if you like coconut but you’ve tasted nothing until you’ve tasted a Cherry ripe.
Clearly, I have love goggles for this chocolate bar and being deprived of it in England makes me crave it even more. Of course, like most things, it isn’t for everyone. For instance, if you hate coconut or just dessicated coconut – this bar ain’t for you. If you hate candied cherries, yet again, this bar will fail you. Everyone loves chocolate (right) so I’m not going to bring up people who don’t (because they don’t exist) but if you are allergic to chocolate, then again, this isn’t for you.
I was going through a Cherry ripe craving and thought if I couldn’t find any here, I’d make them (the kind of attitude my maternal grandma has). I surfed the interwebs for some recipes and found inspiration in ones by Dan Lepard, Irena, Cadbury® (makers of Cherry Ripe) and a clever truffle coating technique by Steph. Overall though, the dark chocolate cherry truffles are MY PRECIOUSES (insert Gollum voice here)…….Funnily enough, I enjoyed making them but I couldn’t get myself to eat one until 2 days later. I was in fear of being let down by my take on the legend that Cherry Ripe. I made them on New Year’s eve and they were all gone in the week and got the stamp of approval from my partner so I think I did fine.
Ingredients (makes 20 truffles – Picture 1):
150 gms dark chocolate
50 gms of dessicated coconut
1/8 of a can of condensed milk (approx 50 gms)
200 gms of red glacé cherries
1. Place 2/3 of the box of glacé cherries into a blender and grind to a paste (picture 2).
2. Chop the remaining cherries into quarters.
3. Place the dessicated coconut, condensed milk, puréed cherries and chopped cherries into a shallow bowl (Picture 3).
4. Get your hands dirty and mix the cherry ripe ingredients until well combined (Picture 4).
5. Shape the mixture into rough balls and you should get about 20 balls approximately 2 cm in diameter. Don’t worry if they aren’t perfectly round as you will be reshaping them soon after (Pictures 5 & 6).
6. Cover the dish with the balls in glad wrap and chill for 30-40 minutes (Picture 7).
7. Towards the end of the chilling time, break the dark chocolate into bits and place in a heat-proof bowl (Picture 8).
8. Place a small pot of water on low heat and bring to a boil. Place the chocolate filled bowl over the bowl (Picture 9).
9. Over the next 2 minutes, the chocolate in the middle of the dish should start to melt. At this point, use a metal spoon to move all the un-melted chocolate bits to the centre and the melted chocolate away from the centre (Picture 10).
10. In 8-10 minutes, all of the chocolate should have melted to form a thick and glossy sauce (Picture 11). If the melting happens quickly, it means your heat source was on high and you risk burning the chocolate so be careful not to let that happen. Once the chocolate is melted, take it off the heat.
11. Pick up a ball of coconut and cherry mix and reshape it in the palm of your hand to form a perfect sphere (Picture 12).
12. Balance this sphere on a metal fork and pour a tablespoon full of melted chocolate onto the filling (Picture 13). Gently turn the ball on the fork so that the entire truffle is covered in chocolate.
13. Place this chocolate covered truffle in a mini muffin paper cup (Picture 14).
14. Repeat steps 11-13 for all the remaining coconut-cherry balls (Picture 15).
15. Cover the truffles with glad wrap and chill them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before trying them (Picture 16 & main picture above). They can be kept at room temperature as long as it isn’t summer where you are. There is nothing that will go off in the truffle but the chocolate coating will melt if the ambient temperature is high.
16. Share with other lovers of chocolate, coconut and cherry! Goes well with a cup of tea too….
1. If you want to make it vegan, leave the condensed milk out and use agave nectar or maple syrup instead. In addition, make sure you use dairy-free chocolate for the coating. Alternatively, use a chocolate with very high cocoa solid content as it is less likely to be mixed in with other animal fats.
2. This recipe is gluten-free as long as you use gluten-free chocolate which is hopefully available at your local supermarket.