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
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.
300g digestive biscuits
345g icing sugar
100ml double cream
200ml double cream
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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