Happy Tuesday, after the longest weekend of the year here in old England. How did you spend yours? Needing a reset of batteries and lots of plans next month means I kept it very low key, but not so low key that I didn’t catch up with friends or make these incredible bars. Famous in their own land and they should be famous everywhere, these will leave an impact and they use kitchen staples so should be rather easy to make no matter where you reside.
The next few months are filled with visitors from various locales, a couple of trips and lots of sightseeing of London before I depart in the fall. In fact, there’s so much happening that it’s all a little overwhelming. So for now I’m just enjoying the small pieces of routine I have before they get thrown out the window to accommodate the visitors, especially having my dad around for two months.
The history of Nanaimo Bars isn’t exactly clear, even to the locals of Nanaimo in British Columbia, but it’s so important that the first confirmed copy of the recipe is now in the museum in Nanaimo City and a recipe can also be found on the city website. Despite it’s mysterious origins, let’s make no mistakes, this bar is as Canadian as Maple Syrup and it’s just as sweet too.
One of my roommate’s took a bite on Sunday morning and being the quiet person he is, let the flavour rattle around until he came up to consume the other half “ohhh that’s good. That’s sooooo good.” He exclaimed and I had to agree after having had two in quick succession myself. Later that day my other roommate advised that she had already contacted her aunty to find this recipe so she can perfect it before her return to our home shores. Yes, this is one of those recipes you’ll want to eat half of and than proceed to make again.
Adapted from Butter Me Up Brooklyn and Nanaimo
Makes 30 small bars
113 grams unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup plain cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup graham crackers, finely crushed
1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup desiccated coconut
113 grams unsalted butter, very soft
3 tablespoons custard powder
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
5 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
150 grams dark chocolate, melted
15 grams butter, melted
Line a baking tin with tin foil and set aside.
Place the butter, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla and salt in a bowl and mix until well combined.
Add the graham crackers, almond meal and desiccated coconut and combine.
Pour into the tin and press down with a cup until even and well packed.
For the filling, place the butter, custard powder and sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine, add in 2 tablespoons of the cream as well as the extract and salt. Whisk to combine and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of cream, mixing until well combined and smooth.
Spoon on top of the base and spread out evenly.
Meanwhile, combine the melted chocolate and butter until smooth and allow to cool slightly, than pour over the custard filling and spread out evenly.
Place in the refrigerator and allow to set for several hours or overnight.
Remove and slice into squares.