The Daring Kitchen is a group of people from all over the world that bake/cook something new (that month’s “challenge”) in the kitchen. Part of the reason I started this blog was to force myself outside of my culinary comfort zone, so this was right up my alley. I joined as a Daring Baker (you can also join as a Daring Cook).
According to Wikipeida, Nanaimo Bars are “…a dessert of Canadian origin popular across North America. A type of chocolate no-bake square, it is named after the West-Coast city of Nanaimo, British Columbia.” I had never heard of them, but I think I’ve seen them before in bakeries, I just haven’t paid much attention to them. I will now though, as these are pretty tasty.
The challenge was actual two baked items: the above mentioned Nanaimo Bars, and graham crackers/wafers. See my post/recipe here for the homemade graham crackers.
1 1/4 cups (5.6oz) graham cracker crumbs (from this recipe, or store-bought)
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup (1.8oz) sugar
5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup (1.9oz) almonds, finely chopped
1 cup (4.5oz) sweetened flaked coconut (you can use unsweetened also)
1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp heavy cream
2 tbsp vanilla custard powder (Such as Bird’s. Vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.)
2 cups (8.9oz) powdered sugar
4oz semi-sweet chocolate
2 tbsp butter
Bottom Layer: Line an 8×8″ pan with foil made into a criss-cross pattern. Melt 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 the foil lined pan (no need to grease the pan).
Middle Layer: Cream butter, then add cream, custard powder, and icing sugar beat until light in color. Spread over bottom layer. Place in the fridge while making the top layer.
Top Layer: Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.
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.