Don't you hate it when you shatter your own childhood memory?
When this month's Daring Bakers Challenge was announced as not only Gluten Free Graham Crackers but Nanaimo Bars - I think I did a little happy dance. As random as it is - as an Australian child - I have actually eaten these before! (Which is more than I can say for our newly immigrated Canadian neighbours...)
I called my Mum to tell her how excited I was and how much I enjoyed them when I was little. This was when mum told me that she had only ever made them once, but didn't remember ever eating them.
And then I remembered.
And then the embarrassment kicked in.
Mum made them (lovingly), portioned them (cleverly) and froze them (hopefully).
And then I ate them.
One by one, day after day, my chubby little fingers snuck into the freezer and demolished Mum's stash. So yes, I had them and loved them - Mum remembers making them but never actually eating them... *arwkward*
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 Nanaimo Canada
Nanaimo Bars — Bottom Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup (50 g) Granulated Sugar
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 1/4 cups Gluten Free Graham Wafer Crumbs / Arnotts Shredded Wholemeal Biscuits
1/2 cup (55 g) Almonds, any kind
1 cup (130 g) Shredded Coconut
Nanaimo Bars — Middle Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (40 mL) Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Vanilla Custard Powder
2 cups (254 g) Icing Sugar
Nanaimo Bars — Top Layer
4 ounces (115 g) Chocolate
2 tablespoons (28 g) Unsalted Butter
1. For Bottom Layer: Melt butter, sugar and cocoa. 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. Chill until hardened and set. (As you can quite obviously see - I didn't follow this instruction - I used my fancy pants quiche tin...)
2. For Middle Layer: Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer. Chill.
3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Allow to cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.
To serve: Slice into portions, remembering that this is a very sweet and rich dessert. Err on the side of smaller, rather than larger portions.
The Verdict: I felt uneasy about this recipe, because if you read the ingredients - you will see that the middle layer is basically icing with custard powder. And I don't really like icing. So I clung desperately to my childhood memories and convinced myself that I would like it... but I didn't. *sigh*
BUT the base was amazing. I will be using this base recipe for all my cheesecakes and slices from now on. Absolutely delicious! (FYI - I used toasted, slivered almonds.)
And yes, the fact that I liked the base but not the middle does mean that ate the top off, scooped out the middle and then ate the base... I know that I should be ashamed of myself and my childish antics. But I'm not. And such is the pleasure of being a (semi) anonymous blogger!
Thank you Daring Bakers for another great challenge, can't wait for the next one!