No need to feel guilty about indulging in these familiar tasting cherry, coconut and rich dark chocolate bites. Although cherries in Australia have been slow to ripen this year and hence expensive, frozen cherries make a good substitute. Blended with toasted coconut and apricots, my cherry bites make a great healthy holiday treat that gets the kids involved too.
Makes about 60
- 2 x 500g packets of frozen cherries, drained 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 holiday ham or turkey.
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 extra flavour.
Form into small balls and place onto a tray for refrigeration. This is where extra hands help, so get the kids invovled. 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 about until 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 ripe juicy cherry bites are covered in rich dark chocolate. Refrigerate for 1 hour if you can wait that long.