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Monday, 29 October 2012

Nanaimo Bars

Still enjoying The Boy Who Bakes, and loving that the recipes are easy to make.

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I've often thought about making Nanaimo bars, but never really got around to it. The recipe originally came from a Canadian housewife who submitted it to an annual Women's Institute fundraising cookbook back in the early 1950's, and recently, Nanaimo bars were voted 'Canada's Favourite Confection'. There are a few different recipes out there, but this one has no baking involved, and the recipe makes a large amount if you cut the bars into small squares - they are very rich and rather sickly sweet, so smaller is better here (you can always have another one!)

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Nanaimo Bars
Adapted from the Boy who Bakes
Notes: I left out the desiccated coconut because we don't really like it, and I substituted pecan nuts for the walnuts, and roasted them for more flavour.

Bottom layer
300g digestive biscuits
170g melted butter
75g caster sugar
45g cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g desiccated coconut, I left this out
75g pecans, coarsely chopped & roasted

Middle layer
85g butter, softened
345g icing sugar
3 tablespoons custard powder
100ml double cream

Top layer
225g good dark chocolate, finely chopped
200ml double cream
40g butter

Line the base and sides of a 23 x 33cm baking pan with baking parchment.

For the bottom layer:
Pulse the biscuits in a food processor until they resemble fine breadcrumbs (or crush them finely in a plastic bag, using a rolling pin).
Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan, remove from the heat and whisk in the sugar and cocoa powder. Gradually beat in the eggs and put the pan back onto the heat. Cook for about 1 minute, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, coconut (if using), biscuit crumbs and the chopped roasted pecans.
Press this mixture into the prepared pan, pressing it down evenly and firmly, you can use the back of a spoon to do this. Chill for about an hour.

For the middle layer:
Beat the butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the icing sugar until smooth.
Add the custard powder and double cream, and beat slowly until the mixture is combined. Turn the mixer to a higher speed and beat until light and fluffy.
Spread over the chilled base in an even layer. Chill for another 30 minutes.

For the top layer:
Put the chocolate, cream and butter into a large microwavable bowl and heat for 30 seconds on high. Stir gently until the chocolate and butter has melted into the cream, making a smooth ganache. You may need to give the mixture an additional 15-30 seconds in the microwave. (This is my way to make ganache, Edd Kimber recommends that you heat the cream in a pan and pour it over the chocolate, before adding the butter.)
Pour the ganache over the custard layer evenly and chill to set.

To serve, cut into small squares using a sharp knife.

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This content belongs to Nic at Cherrapeno. All writing and photography copyright N Fowers © 2007-2012 unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.



9 comments:

Andrea@Familyconnect said...

They look lovely, really dainty. I have been looking for some nice nibbles to serve at a Body Shop party I'm hosting at the weekend, and these seem ideal

Sylvie said...

They look amazing, Nic. I can imagine that with those a little goes a long way!

grace said...

these are SO rich, but SO delicious! toasted pecans instead of walnuts sounds great. :)

lokness said...

Love it! The layers are absolutely beautiful! And I love digestive biscuits, but haven't tried to use it in dessert dishes. This will be a great way to try.

Hazel - Chicken in a Cherry Sauce said...

Mmmm... I've often thought of making Nanaimo bars too! I find them on only rare occasions - once in a Thai buffet restaurants in Leeds, in a variety of flavours. Yours look beautiful. I think you definitely have a colour theme with all of your creamy and chocolately treats! Your blog is certaintly not the safest place to be when I have a sweet craving but it definitely is when I want to look at beautiful and tasty photos! :)

Jacqueline @Howtobeagourmand said...

I feel really ignorant - I've never heard of them Nic but they look very indulgent. Perfect to give you a wee energy boost in the afternoon with a cuppa

Choclette said...

You've made these bars look so pretty. Ed's book is another on my list as are these bars - too many lists!

Caroline said...

They look amazing - Nanaimo bars have been on my to-bake list for so long now, don't know why I keep putting them off. I love your beautiful photography and I'm very impressed at the cripsness of the cutting!

Jeanne said...

These do look good, but I like your advice about keeping them small LOL!!