Sunday, November 09, 2008

Cherry Slice Experiment

Cindy over at Where's The Beef has been undertaking a Cherry Slice Experiment. Since I do testing for my job, I thought I would get in on the act as well. Plus it looked too delicious not to give it a try myself. So far, Cindy has tried various types of cherries (dried, glace, jam, preserved) and also soaking them in different syrups (sugar, apple juice, black cherry syrup).

Initially, I was going to start tinkering with the various aspects of this recipe as well, but then decided that I should make the original recipe first to get a control sample (any sound scientific experiment must have a control) and know how it actually tastes and which aspects I like or dislike. The original recipe is from Wanting Kneading.

So what did I like or dislike about the original cherry slice? I actually really like glace cherries. I can put them on anything and like the sickly sweet flavour of them. So I found the glace cherries in this recipe really to my liking. The coconut is the base of the recipe, so that really can't be changed. The chocolate topping with the coconut cream was nice, but I might try it using just chocolate so you get a more crisp and bitter topping. The base, like Cindy, I found too crumbly and rather overpowering in flavour. I didn't like it too much. I made this Baked Cherry Cheesecake previously where I loved both the base and the canned cherries which I boiled in a honey syrup, so that will be my next experimental starting point.

So here are the variations I think I will attempt next time.

Glace cherry mixture + Oatmeal almond base from the baked cherry cheesecake
Canned cherry in honey syrup mixture + Oatmeal almond base
Rum soaked raisins + Oatmeal almond base

Pure dark chocolate topping.

I might try a chocolate ganache topping the next time after, if I'm not sick of cherry slices by then.

Cherry Ripe Slice
Adapted from Wanting Kneading blog so it is no longer a vegan recipe

For the base:
150 g butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

For the filling:
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp caster sugar
1/4 tsp agar agar powder (or gelatin powder works fine)
1/2 270mL tin pure coconut cream (no added water or preservatives etc)
200 g glace cherries
3 cups dessicated coconut

For the topping
100 g dark chocolate
the other half can coconut cream

1) In a big mixing bowl, blend the butter and sugar together with electric mixer, and make sure all the clumps of sugar are not clumps anymore.

2) Sift the flour and baking powder over the top of the butter/sugar mix.
Mix this together well until crumbly.

3) Press the mixture very firmly and evenly into slice tin lined with baking paper.
Bake at 180C for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

1) In the smallest saucepan you have, put the water, sugar and agar powder. Leave while you get the rest of the filling ready.

2) Chop the glace cherries roughly and mix in a big mixing bowl together with the coconut cream and coconut.

3) Put the saucepan with the agar and water and sugar on the stove, and bring to the boil, covered. Simmer for about 5 minutes, covered, stirring every now and then to incorporate the sugar and agar from the sides of the pan.

4) Pour over the glace cherry mixture and mix well. With slightly wet hands pack this mix firmly and evenly onto the biscuit base. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the topping.

1) Melt the chocolate gently in a double boiler. Carefully and slowly stir in the coconut cream.

2) Pour evenly over the top of the slice, and spread with a spatula. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour before slicing into small pieces.


  1. The control trial, excellent! :-)

    I like the sound of your oatmeal almond base, and will bookmark it to possibly try myself.

  2. Cindy, I decided I should have a control so that I won't be ridiculed by the scientific baking community out there.

    I'm proud to say that the oatmeal almond base was my own invention and I really like it.