If a chocolate brownie and one of the world's best ice-cream flavours had a love child, it would be this. All chocolate and cherry and nougat, it's a truly indulgent version of the good ole Cherry Ripe. I don't like to use food colouring so I used some freeze-dried fruit for the lovely pink colour instead, and it adds tart little pops of sourness here and there amid all the sweetness.
110g shortbread or plain biscuits
100g rolled oats
1 tbsp condensed milk
¼ cup melted butter, cooled
300g glace cherries
45g freeze-dried strawberries
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
160g (2 cups) finely desiccated coconut
3 tbsp–½ cup condensed milk, to mix
150g soft nougat, chopped into bite-sized pieces
100g milk chocolate, cut into chunks
¼ cup freeze-dried fruit (I used strawberries and raspberries)
200g dark chocolate
2 tbsp butter
1. Line a lamington tin (approximately 30cm x 20cm x 3cm) with baking paper, making sure it hangs generously over the sides to make lifting the slice out nice and easy.
2. For the base, add all the ingredients to a food processor and blitz to combine. Gently press across the base of your prepared tin then pop in the fridge while you prepare the remaining elements.
3. To make the cherry mixture, add the glace cherries, freeze-dried strawberries, vanilla and desiccated coconut to a blender and blitz until combined. You don't want to lose the texture of the coconut, but you need the ingredients to be fully incorporated and malleable in your hands. Add the condensed milk slowly and test the mixture by rolling some into a ball – if it holds its shape, you are done. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and gently stir through the nougat and milk chocolate chunks and the additional quarter cup of freeze-dried fruit.
4. Remove the slice base from the fridge and press the cherry-coconut mixture over.
5. To make the topping, add the dark chocolate and the butter to a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn't touch the bowl. Cook until the chocolate and butter has melted and is smooth and glossy when stirred. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the top of the cherry layer then place the slice back in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours to set.
6. To slice, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, or use a hot, wet knife to slice immediately.
Note: Keeps for 10 days in an airtight container in the fridge.