175g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa
100g caster sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g unsalted butter, softened
50ml cold milk
For the cherry filling
600g glacé cherries
125g condensed milk
150g desiccated coconut
2 tsp vanilla extract
250g dark chocolate, chopped
1. Take a 18cm square cake tin – one with a removable base, ideally – butter the insides well and cover the base with a square of nonstick baking paper.
2. Put the flour, cocoa, sugar and baking powder in a bowl and rub in the butter until it’s utterly worked through and all the lumps have gone. Add the milk, and mix to a soft, even dough, then press this into the base of the tin firmly and evenly.
3. Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan-assisted)/350F/gas mark 4 and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until set and dry on top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
4. To make the filling, put 400g of the glacé cherries in a food processor and mince very finely. Mix in the condensed milk, coconut and vanilla until you have a smooth, pink, coconut paste. Cut the remaining cherries in half, stir them through the mix, then spread it evenly over the chocolate base.
5. Return the tin to the oven, bake at the same temperature for a further 25 minutes, or until it’s starting to firm and go golden on top. Remove from the oven and leave until cold.
6. To finish the bars, melt the chocolate, spread this over the top and leave until cold before cutting into squares.