I am a wife, a mom of three, and the kitchen is my favorite place in the house. I read cookbooks in my spare time and enjoy getting kitchen appliances for presents :) I love preparing delicious and healthy food for my family and here are a some of what graces our table each week.

Email Me for any of the recipes :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Daring Bakers – January 2010 - Nanaimo Bars

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The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and www.nanaimo.ca.
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There is not much to say about this month’s challenge.  Besides baking the graham crackers, everything was pretty simple.  I did use every bowl in the house, but that is nothing new for this kitchen.  I used all the ingredients listed – even the heavy cream! – but replaced the butter with Smart Balance Light.  I think that’s why it didn’t firm up quite as much as the one Lauren had a picture of.  I also chose to make the regular/wheat flour graham crackers, because I knew that the special ingredients would just go to waste in my kitchen.  I only baked half of the dough, so we will have lots more graham crackers to nosh on over the weekend.  I made the crackers last night and assembled everything this afternoon. 
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Graham Cracker recipe came from:
http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/000126.html

Dry ingredients for graham crackers…mostly Whole Wheat Pastry and a little AP flour

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Wet ingredients for graham crackers…

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The dough…

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Into the freezer for a quick chill (who has 2 hours to wait??)…

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Needed lots of flour, but lovely to roll out…

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I kinda sorta measured the crackers, but not exactly…

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They were crispy, but survived…

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For Nanaimo Bars — Bottom Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup (50 g) (1.8 ounces) Granulated Sugar
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) (160 g) (5.6 ounces) Gluten Free Graham Wafer Crumbs (See previous recipe)
1/2 cup (55 g) (1.9 ounces) Almonds (Any type, Finely chopped)
1 cup (130 g) (4.5 ounces) Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)

For Nanaimo Bars — Middle Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (40 mL) Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Vanilla Custard Powder (Such as Bird’s. Vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.)
2 cups (254 g) (8.9 ounces) Icing Sugar

For Nanaimo Bars — Top Layer
4 ounces (115 g) Semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons (28 g) (1 ounce) Unsalted Butter

Directions:
1. For bottom Layer: Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.
2. For Middle Layer: Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.
3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.
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The crackers patiently waited all night for some attention…

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I know the kids would have loved to make these crumbs, but noone was home (ahhhhhhhh)…

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I stuck the almonds in the food processor…

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Over the double boiler…

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Melted…

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The egg made it a lot smoother…

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I left out the coconut because no one here likes it…

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The bottom layer…

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I assumed I had vanilla pudding mix, but could only find Oreo Cookie pudding mix.  It worked out just dandy…

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The middle layer…

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I also assumed I had semi-sweet chocolate chips…doh! so I had to swap in caramel swirl chips…it could have been worse!

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The recipe said to wait until it cooled to spread the chocolate and I did, but when I poured it on, it just collected in the middle and wouldn’t budge…

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Even when it seemed like it had chilled enough, it hadn’t, so I put it in to chill even longer…

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We all enjoyed it, but it isn’t something that I would rush to make again.  I am not a big fan of really rich desserts and the middle layer is basically SUGAR and that’s what it tastes like.  At least with butter cream frosting, you have a ton of fat to dilute the richness a bit ;)

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