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No-Bake Cherry Ripe

A refreshing, healthy and easy summer dessert. This cake has three layers: a crunchy base, a textured fruit layer and a chocolate filling – a grown-up dessert, like an adult cherry ripe.

No-Bake Cherry Ripe

Serves 10-12 
Time 25 minutes + soaking and freezing time

125 ml (½ cup) coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
30 g (¹⁄³ cup) responsibly sourced cacao powder
2 dried persimmons or pitted dates, finely chopped (or replace with 3 tablespoons unrefined sugar)
250 ml (1 cup) orange juice
110 g almond or macadamia meal
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Soaked fruit
400 g fresh or preserved cherries (or any other berries of your choosing), pitted and halved
50 g prunes, pitted and finely sliced
50 g dried figs, finely sliced
80 ml (¹⁄³ cup) port

Base
105 g responsibly sourced cacao nibs
90 g (¾ cup) sunflower seeds
100 ml melted coconut oil
75 g (¾ cup) almond meal
2 tablespoons unrefined sugar (e.g. rapadura)

Just omit the port for children and add a little extra orange juice, or omit the soaked fruit layer to make a super-simple frozen cake. Or if you want it more chocolatey, add a little more cacao powder to the filling ingredients. This recipe makes quite a lot because it stores for a long time in the freezer, making for a quick and healthy dessert or snack when weʼre craving something sweet.

For the soaked fruit, place the cherries, prunes and figs in a jug and cover with the port. Place a small weight (e.g. a stack of small plates) on top to keep the fruit submerged and extract the natural juices. Set aside for about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, thoroughly grease a bread tin, ceramic dish or cake tin that’s about 30–40 cm long and about 10 cm wide (or a 30 cm diameter round tin, it doesn’t matter too much – use whatever you’ve got) with the extra coconut oil.

For the base, place the cacao nibs and sunflower seeds in a blender and blend on low until they are like coarse fl our. Transfer to a bowl and massage in all of the remaining ingredients with your hands until well combined. Firmly press this into the cake tin to create a base.

For the filling, place the coconut oil and cacao powder in a small saucepan over a low heat and stir until combined.

Place the persimmons or dates and orange juice in a blender and blitz. Transfer to a bowl along with the coconut oil and cacao mixture and stir in the almond or macadamia meal, orange zest and vanilla. Pour in the liquid from the soaking fruit and combine well.

To assemble, pour a very thin layer of filling mixture over the base and lay the soaked fruit on top. Pour over the remaining filling mixture and gently tap the base of the tin on the bench to settle the ingredients. Freeze until set (about 5 hours).

Once set, simply run a knife around the edge of the tin to loosen, and then turn upside down – it should pop out. Alternatively, turn upside down and run the base of the tin under hot water for a few seconds. To serve, cut into thick slices and stand for a few minutes to slightly soften. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for 6 months or more.

Note. If you can’t find macadamia meal, simply blend 110 g of whole macadamia nuts in a high-powered blender to make a coarse flour.

Recipe extracted from Grown & Gathered by Matt & Lentil Purbrick. Available now, Plum, RRP $45.

grown-and-gathered

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