I saw several mention of Paradise Slices on various channels. Each seemed to be slightly different, Some used desiccated coconut and ground almonds. Others used just ground almonds. But they all had glacé cherries(candied cherries) and some dried fruit.
Of course I love coconut. So when I decided to make these slices, or bars, I had to include that. As well as the glacé cherries I needed to include some dried fruit. For mine I chose sultanas. I think they have a wonderful texture as well as a good flavour. However I did see several recipes that used currants. I am sure they would work well. Indeed, you could use any dried fruit.
With a pastry base topped with raspberry jam these slices are similar to Bakewell Tart which has a frangipane paste on the top. These slices differ from that with the use of the coconut.
I call these slices, or bars. But the resultant bake can easily be used just as a dessert. Indeed it would make a great dessert. But, for mine, I served them as slices.
This is a very simple recipe. It is, however, prepared in distinct stages. Firstly there is a pastry base. Blind-baking the pasty is next. Then raspberry jam is spread over the pastry. After that we need to prepare the cake mixture. That is used to cover the jam. Then the whole thing has to be baked.
The resultant bake is cut into slices or bars. So, as you can see, it is not a complicated recipe. Make the pastry. Fill the cake pan. Chill the pastry. Bake the pastry. Top with jam. Make the topping. Add it into the cake pan. Bake the slices. Including waiting time, for the the pastry, this recipe can be made in about two hours.
I baked my slices for 28 minutes. I allowed the bake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. The bake had a firm top. Then I transferred it to a wire rack until completely cooled. I sliced it into 8 portions. Checking the inside confirmed that I had well baked slices.
Of course I needed to taste the slices. As well as the buttery pastry I tasted jam and a subtle orange flavour. I also had the great texture and flavour from the coconut. The fruitiness of the cherries and sultanas completed a great slice. All in all I was most satisfied with the slices.
Another great recipe, which is easy to make is Bakewell Tart Squares.
Paradise Slices – BarsCourse: Cakes, Desserts, Pies, TartsDifficulty: Easy
84g(6 tbsp) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
37g(3 tbsp) caster sugar
75g(1/2 cup, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour
50g(1/2 cup) ground almonds
75g(1 cup) desiccated coconut
38g(1/3 cup) ground almonds
56g(4 tbsp) softened, unsalted butter
75g(6 tbsp)caster sugar
80g glace cherries(about 16 cherries) chopped in half
2g(1/2 tsp) baking powder
2 medium eggs(large in USA)
grated zest from 1 oranges(optional)
raspberry jam( I used about 2 tbsp), to personal taste.
- In a food processor place the flour, sugar and ground almonds. Pulse a few times.
- Add the cold butter cubes and process until the mixture clumps together into a dough.
- Press the dough into a greased and lined 8 inch(20cm) square can pan. Ensure the base in covered and the dough is level.
- Chill the pan in the fridge for one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/320F.
- Prick the pastry dough all over with a fork.
- Cover the pastry with some parchment paper and then add baking beans(or pasta, rice, dried beans).
- Blind-bake the pastry for 25 minutes.
- Remove the baking beans.
- Carefully remove the parchment paper(mine stuck slightly so I had to press down the pastry dough a little.
- Place the cake pan bake into the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes to competely bake the pastry.
- Remove the cake pan from the oven and set aside to cool a little.
- Increase the oven temperature to 190C/170C Fan/375 F.
- In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix in until fully combined.
- Sprinkle over the baking powder and zest and mix in.
- Add all the remaining ingredients and fold in until all is fully combined.
- Spread the jam over the pastry base.
- Spoon the batter onto the jam and spread until level all over.
- Place the cake pan back into the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cake has risen and it firm to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and leave in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.