There is a wonderful baking club on Twitter which I am very proud to be involved with. Their Twitter account name is @SundayBakeClub and they have an excellent blog too at The Sunday Baking Club. If you’re not familiar with them (although I should imagine most people reading this already are) they set a different theme every week and we all bake something on the Sunday that is connected with the theme. They then choose 10 to put on their blog, and we all vote for which one we think should win the virtual Golden Spoon prize. Last week’s theme was an extra special one. We could bake whatever we wanted as long as it had French Glacé Cherries in, and every bake entered earned a 20p donation to charity. The baker of the winning entry at the end of the voting gets to donate the whole amount raised to their chosen charity. The amount stands at £110 which is fantastic! At the time of writing this, the winner has yet to be announced, but its amazing to think that a charity will benefit from a group of people doing what they love… baking.
I entered 4 bakes. Well, more precisely, I entered 3 and my son Luke entered one. I had quite a few requests for the recipe for this one, so am putting it on here for you all to enjoy. I found it in a book called Cakes and Slices published by Murdoch Books. I had to slightly tweak the recipe as the top is meant to be plain chocolate, but Luke hates that with a passion so I used milk chocolate. It is still delicious, it just looks a lot more dramatic with a dark chocolate on top. Here’s the recipe:
FOR THE BASE
125g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
90g caster sugar
125g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE FILLING
420g glacé cherries, chopped up small
60g icing sugar
135g desiccated coconut
125 ml condensed milk
60g unsalted butter, melted
50g white vegetable fat (Trex), melted
150g plain or milk chocolate
25g unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Lightly grease a 7 x 10 inch rectangular baking tin and line the base with baking paper, letting the paper hang over the long sides of the tin so you can lift it out easily when its ready.
- Sift the flour, cocoa, and sugar into a bowl, then add the vanilla and butter, and mix well to form a dough. I did this by hand, not with a mixer.
- Turn out on to a lightly floured worktop, then gently knead it for about a minute to bring it all together. Using the back of a metal spoon, press this dough into the base of the tin. It’s a very soft dough so really easy to do. Place into the fridge and chill for 20 minutes.
- Cover with baking paper, then cover the paper with baking beads, and bake blind for 10-15 minutes. Remove the paper and beads, then bake for a further 5 minutes. A word of warning here… I found the paper stuck to the mixture, so lift it away very carefully or you’ll lose half of your base! The base still felt extremely soft for me at this point, so I baked it for another 5 minutes again! Don’t worry if its still feeling fairly soft when it comes out of the oven… it will firm up when it cools.
- Leave in the tin to cool.
- Mix together the cherries, coconut and icing sugar until the cherries are completely coated, then add the condensed milk, melted butter and white vegetable fat. Mix well, then spread over the cooled base. Place in the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.
- Break up the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl with the butter, then set over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. When they have melted, stir to mix together, then spread on top of the cherry mixture and chill in the fridge until set.
- When set, lift out of the tin using the long sides of paper to help you, and cut into desired sized slices.
It does take a long time to make with all the various stages, but is well worth it. The base is like a thinner version of the chocolate concrete/crunch we all remember well from school dinners. The filling is basically a soft coconut ice, and the chocolate just adds to the overall yumminess. It is absolutely scrumptious, a real treat.