The Nanaimo bar is a dessert of Canadian origin popular across North America. A type of chocolate no-bake square, it receives its name from the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia. It consists of a crumb-based layer, topped by a layer of light custard or vanilla butter icing, which is covered in chocolate (wiki). I enjoyed taking part in Sugar High Friday May 2008 event, so I was looking forward to participate in June's event too. This month the theme is "Mmm...Canada" calling everyone to make something (either sweet or savory) Canadian! The sweet version is hosted by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess. Coincidentally, the theme for AFAM is Coconut. Since this recipe has coconut in it, it would fit AFAM too. It was a bit of work making them, but it sure was well worth the effort! I only made half the recipe, and almost everything worked out perfect. The taste was exceptional!! I took them to a gathering of a few friends and they all loved it! I expected them to be put off by the sweetness, but they mentioned in unison that they didnt mind because the bars were awesome! This is a calorie-laden sweet but excellent to take to a gathering or to a party. So make sure you have some friends to share the guilt and the calories! ;-) I am posting the halved recipe here. Check out this link for the original recipe. I hope you all enjoy these yummy bars! To all the chocoholics ( I am one of them!) out there, this is for you!!
Recipe (Makes 8 bars) :
Chocolate cookie crumbs - 3/4 cup
Unsalted butter - 1/4 cup
Cocoa powder - 2 1/2 tbsp
Sugar - 1/8 cup
Egg - 1/2
Vanilla extract - 1/2 tsp
Unsweetened grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Walnuts - 1/4 cup, toasted and chopped
Icing sugar - 1 1/2 cups, sifted
Unsalted butter - 1/6 cup, at room temperature
Custard powder - 3/4 tbsp
Milk - 1/8 cup
Instant coffee powder - 1 tsp
Vanilla - 1 tsp
Semisweet chocolate - 4 oz
Unsalted butter - 1 tbsp
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan (I spread the mixture on half the pan) with vegetable oil or spray.
For base, melt butter and stir in sugar.
Sift cocoa powder into mixture and blend well.
Whisk together egg and vanilla extract and add.
Blend in chocolate cookie crumbs, coconut and chopped walnuts until evenly incorporated.
Press into prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes then chill for 20 minutes.
For cappuccino filling, beat butter by hand until smooth and beat in custard powder.
Heat milk with coffee powder to dissolve and cool to room temperature.
Add milk to butter mixture a stir in sifted icing sugar a cup at a time, combining well.
Spread over base and chill while preparing topping.
For topping, melt chocolate and butter over a pot of gently simmering water.
Pour over vanilla filling and spread to cover evenly.
Chill for 30 minutes.
To serve, slice with a hot, dry knife into 1-inch squares.
- I used oreos for the crumb base.
- Reduce or omit the sugar if using oreos for the base (or if using sweetened coconut), because it already has the creme-filling.
- I used chopped mixed nuts instead of toasted wlanuts and flaked coconut from the store (it was actually a bit sweet).
- I would recommend reducing the amount of sugar for the filling to 3/4 - 1 cup. I added about 1 1/4 cup and still it was very sweet.
- For instant coffee powder for the filling I used Nescafe instant coffee granules.
- For custard powder, I used the Jello vanilla pudding powder (not the instant one).
- For the topping I melted the chocolate and butter in the microwave.
- The preparation method mentions chilling the filling until the chocolate topping is made. I would recommend keeping it in the freezer until you make the topping because, when I poured the topping over the custard filling, it hadnt set properly, so I didnt get three distinct layers. So I just worked with what I had and made swirls of chocolate on the vanilla layer. This didnt compromise the taste at all.
Dont forget to check out the new pictures over at "Through the looking glass".