No need to feel guilty about indulging in this familiar combination of cherry, coconut and dark chocolate. Cherries are seasonally available in Australia once a year, around Christmas time. They are expensive and tricky to pip, so I use frozen cherries, which make a very adequate substitution. Drained in a colander overnight, the cherries are blended with toasted coconut and apricots (for extra tang). The reserved liquid seasoned and reduced to sauce or sticky glaze is ideal with roast meats or basted over chicken wings. Invite the kids to join in and have some messy kitchen fun making these wholesome treats with the family.
Makes about 60
- 2 x 500g packets of frozen cherries, drained in a colander overnight
- 4 cups toasted shredded coconut
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 2 x 200g packets dark chocolate (80% cocoa is ideal)
Overnight, or over several nights as I did because I forgot about them, drain the cherries in a colander resting over a bowl in the fridge. The reserved liquid can be reduced by half and seasoned with salt and pepper to make an easy sauce for your roast meat or reduced further to make a sticky glaze ideal for chicken wings.
Preheat the oven to 180℃. On a baking tray spread the shredded coconut out and toast in the oven for 10-20 minutes until golden brown. I used fresh frozen coconut I had shredded about a month ago and stored in the freezer – I’ll show you how to do this one day. It’s really easy and tastes so much better, but store bought is ok too.
In a food processor place cherries, coconut and roughly chopped apricots and blitz until the mixture comes together. Lots of recipes don’t use apricots, but I find the stickiness helps the balls form and gives the cherries that extra tang.
Form into small balls and place onto a tray for refrigeration. This is where extra hands help, so get the kids involved. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until quite chilled and firm.
Melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl or jug in the microwave. Always heat in intervals, stirring in-between until the chocolate has melted.
Place one ball at a time into the chocolate. Using a fork roll it around until it’s completely covered then scoop it up and allow the excess chocolate to drip off before placing it onto a lined baking tray. Repeat until all those juicy ripe cherry bites are covered in dark chocolate. Refrigerate for 1 hour if you can wait that long.