Home Made Cherry Ripe Bars (Easy Vegan Recipe)

Home Made Cherry Ripe Bars (Easy Vegan Recipe)

Cherry ripe bars - swoon food

The first time I tried the heavenly combination of sour cherries and dark chocolate was in a Green & Black’s organic cherry chocolate bar. Cherry chocolate is not something I would have ordinarily chosen as I used to associate preserved cherries with the fluoro pink glacé cherries that went into christmas cakes. Luckily the sour cherries in Green & Black’s are nothing of the sort, they’re a dark crimson colour and have a deliciously tart flavour (for a raw version of this sour cherry chocolate click here).

When I found some dried tart cherries in our local whole foods store recently my mind went straight to what can I create with these. Sour cherries and dark chocolate are a heavenly combo, but what would make it even better is some moist coconut….aka Cherry Ripe bars!

I thought it would be fun to make a healthy version of the classic Cadbury “Cherry Ripe” bar, without any dairy, refined sugar, preservatives or additives.

I found two great dried cherry options in the whole foods store: ROAR organic dried sour cherries and Ceres organics apple sweetened dried cherries. For the recipe below I went with the ROAR version as they were super sour and I liked the contrast, but either would work well.

After a couple of recipe attempts which resulted in not enough chocolate, too much chocolate, too wet filling, wrong colour filling… too much taste testing… I finally came up with the perfect combination.

The best thing about these “Cherry Ripe” bars is they contain no gluten, dairy, refined sugar, additives or preservatives, and while they are definitely less sweet that the original, I think they taste even better.

If you can’t find sour cherries in your local food store, simply substitute for extra dried cranberries and vice versa.

 

Home Made “Cherry Ripe” Bars

Serves: makes approximately 16 bars
Prep time: 30 minutes Chilling time: 30 minutes

1 cup of desiccated coconut
2 Tbsp coconut oil, liquid form
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp freeze dried raspberry powder
1/2 cup dried sour cherries
1/4 cup dried cranberries (apple sweetened)
pinch of himalayan pink salt
200g dark chocolate (70%, dairy free)
Freeze dried raspberries for decoration

Line a small tin (I used 18cm x 30cm) with baking paper.

Melt the dark chocolate by placing it in a heat proof bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Ensure the bowl doesn’t touch the water to avoid overheating the chocolate.

If using really dried cherries such as ROAR, start by soaking them in warm water for 10 minutes or so until they plump up. Then pour off the water and drain well.

Place all the remaining ingredients including the cherries in a food processor and blend until well combined. The mixture should be slightly sticky and hold together when pressed. If too wet, add a little more dried coconut.

Spread half the melted chocolate over the bottom of the lined tin and place in the fridge or freezer to set, approximately 5-10 minutes. When the chocolate is just firm to touch remove from the fridge and spread the cherry mixture over evenly, pressing down well.

Pour the remaining chocolate on top and spread evenly with a spoon or palate knife.

Sprinkle over crushed freeze dried raspberries and return the slice to the fridge to set for approximately 10-20 minutes. When the chocolate is firm, remove from the fridge and slice into bars using a hot, dry knife.

Store your Cherry Ripe bars in a sealed container in the fridge.

 

For more cherry slice recipes check out this Dark Chocolate Cherry Ripe Slice or these Raw Cacao & Brazil Nut Hemp Slice with Sour Cherries.