Who could say no to a home-made ice popsicle, especially one made with cherry, chocolate and coconut. I had Cherry Ripe on my mind, a chocolate from my childhood and a favourite of mine. I can't begin to imagine how many of these I would have consumed during my childhood. When I have friends and family visit from Australia, I make sure they bring some over for me. In fact, it's a prerequisite.
With the summer season with us, I thought these popsicles would make a refreshing after dinner treat. I love the combination of cherry and chocolate, the perfect sweet and tangy match. Cherries are all over the markets at the moment. I find myself buying a kilo of them and devouring them within one sitting.
I like to make a couple of batches of these and place in the freezer for when I'm ready to eat. I lay them on a platter in a row, lay baking paper over them, and continue with another layer of popsicles. That way, I just open the freezer door and grab one (or two) when I fancy them.
FOR THE CHERRY COMPOTE
500g cherries pitted
1/2 cup sugar
Juice 1 lemon
FOR THE POPSICLES
800ml coconut milk (2 cans)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 tbsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Melted dark chocolate to decorate (optional)
Crushed almonds to decorate (optional)
To make the cherry compote, add the cherries, sugar and lemon juice to a pan and bring to a boil on medium heat to bring out the juices. Simmer for 10 mins until the mixture thickens. Allow to cool slightly and add to a food processor and blitz to form a puree. It's ok to have chunky cherry bits - it adds texture. Put the cherry compote aside until it cools completely.
Place the coconut milk in a saucepan and heat through on medium-low heat. Once heated, pour 1 cup of the coconut milk into a jug and add stir in the cherry compote. To the remaining coconut milk in the pan, add the cocoa powder, vanilla extract, agave nectar and whisk until combined. Put aside and allow to cool.
To assemble, pour the chocolate coconut mixture into the container a third of the way. Place in the freezer for 30 mins so this layer slightly hardens. Then top about 1/3 of the way with the cherry coconut layer. Place in the freezer for another 30 mins and fill to the top with the chocolate coconut mixture. Insert the popsicle sticks and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours before serving.
You can decorate the popsicles by melting some chocolate and drizzling it over the popsicles, or dipping it into the chocolate and sprinkling with crushed nuts of choice.
You can add more agave nectar to the mixture if you prefer it sweeter and to your liking. Or you can substitute it with honey.