Australia is full of food icons - Vegemite, lamingtons, prawn on the barbie, pie and sauce, Anzac biscuits ... the list goes on.
During the past week I have discovered that a true Aussie icon, the Cherry Ripe, was one of Australia's first chocolate bars.
Invented by Leslie Atkinson for MacRobertson's Chocolates in 1924, it was an instant hit and still is, especial with my dad, who I believe could be its number one fan.
The bitterness of dark chocolate, the sweetness of cherries with coconut - this recipe takes all the ingredients that make a Cherry Ripe perfect and repackages it.
CHERRY RIPE SLICE
Makes a 20cm x 30cm slice
40g soft butter
75g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
120g self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa
quarter tsp bicarb soda
250g good quality dark chocolate
1 egg white, lightly beaten
100g shredded coconut
300g glace cherries, roughly chopped
75g caster sugar
To make the base, preheat oven to 165C and line a tin with baking paper (I use a 20x30cm tin with 4cm high sides).
In a clean bowl using electric beaters, beat together butter and caster sugar for about 2 minutes until pale yellow. Add egg and mix until combined.
Using a spatula, fold in sifted, dry base ingredients until combined. Add the water (your mix may be quite stiff and this will loosen it up a little). Spread mix evenly into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
While the base is baking, it's time to make the topping. Roughly chop half the chocolate and set aside.
In a clean bowl, lightly beat egg white with an electric beater for a minute or two. Add the coconut, cherries and caster sugar, and mix until combined.
Remove base from the oven. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate evenly over the base and top with coconut cherry mix.
Return to oven and bake for a further 35-40 minutes, or until topping starts to turn golden in colour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
While the slice is cooling, melt the remaining chocolate and drizzle it over the top of your slice.
I pop my slice in the fridge for about 20 minutes before cutting to preferred size and serving.
Tip: You can use one of your egg whites left over from last week's recipe, which you popped in the freezer.
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