“Commercially produced versions of this chocolatey treat often contain a bunch of nasty numbers among the numerous ingredients, as well as gelatine. Fair enough, our demand for food with a long shelf-life on tap 24/7 may push manufacturers to commit all sorts of food crimes, but I say just make your own. Dark chocolate, cherry and coconut is a classic flavour combination and you will find yourself very popular around grown-ups who are still little kids inside.” Simon Bryant, author.
¹⁄³ cup (80 ml) verjuice
300 g dried cherries
½ cup (125 ml) runny honey
¹⁄³ cup (80 g) virgin coconut oil
300 g shredded coconut
200 g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa), finely chopped
1 Bring the verjuice to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the dried cherries. Cover and leave for 10–15 minutes to plump up. Stir in the honey and coconut oil, then return the pan to low heat and warm gently, stirring until smooth.
2 Line a 25 cm × 20 cm baking tray with baking paper. Transfer the cherry mixture to a food processor, add the coconut and blitz until it comes together in a ball. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tray, pressing firmly to ensure it binds. Place in the freezer for 1–2 hours. When firm, remove from the freezer and cut into 12 bars, about 10 cm × 4 cm.
3 To melt the chocolate, bring a saucepan of water to the boil, then remove from the heat and set a heatproof bowl on top. Place the chocolate in the bowl and leave to stand, stirring occasionally, until melted. Brush the melted chocolate over the top of the bars, coating them evenly.
4 Store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.