Sunday, September 25, 2011

nah-ni-mo bars

CAAAANADAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!! Last week I went to my one and only 2011 Rugby World Cup match, between Canada and Tonga. I think half the town must've turned up to see the game but  even so, I like to think that not one of those 17,000 people brought homemade Nanaimo bars. Or antlers and a red nose.

Nanaimo bars are, of course*, native to the harbour City of Nanaimo and they're uber sweet; pretty much just a chocolate base covered with a layer of thick vanilla icing, finished with a chocolate top. Whoo! I thought they sounded really sweet but the recipe was endorsed by the City of Nanaimo so I didn't really have a choice; they had to be made the Nanaimo way!

Most people thought they were great but a few found them too sweet - not surprising as the middle layer is pretty much sugar held together with butter. I'm glad I made them though, just to taste the almost real thing.

I took my camera to the game but didn't really have the time to take photos (priority was given to trying to shout over Tongan supporters) and the one time I took a photo, I didn't check to see if I'd turned the auto-focus back on. What a dork.

Nanaimo bars are circled, being enjoyed. Have no idea how NOTHING in this photo
managed to get in focus.

Nanaimo Bars
Adapted from City of Nanaimo

Even though I was dedicated to the traditional recipe, I couldn't help but add a pinch of salt to the base and to make it a bit easier to cook the base - I wasn't so keen on chocolate scrambled eggs!

Layer Un
4oz unsalted butter
pinch salt
1/4 cup sugar
5 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups crumbed graham wafers (aka Digestives)
1/2 cup roughly chopped sliced almonds

In a small pan, gently heat butter, salt, sugar and cocoa, stirring constantly, until butter has melted and merged with the other ingredients. It should be a hot mix so take it off the heat and let it cool down for 5 minutes.

Quickly whisk the beaten egg into the chocolate and put back on a low heat. Continue stirring the mixture until it begins to thicken. I actually used a temp. probe to make sure it didn't go over 80C (cooking the egg while avoiding the scrambled horror).

Quickly stir in the rest of the ingredients and push into an ungreased 8 by 8inch square baking pan (I tinfoiled mine beforehand to make sure it came out easily).

Layer Deux
4oz unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cream
2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar

Cream everything together and beat until light. Spread over first layer.

Layer Trois
4oz semi-sweet chocolate (I used 50% cocoa)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter over a low heat, stirring constantly. Cool until cool as possible while still maintaining its pourability! Spread over second layer and chill until set.

Rough edges need to be trimmed off and eaten by the chef

*I sound like I've always known everything about Nanaimo when really I just google mapped it.


  1. I've heard of these wonderful morsels, but have never tried them. So am thanking you for the recipe.

  2. Hi Miri,

    How have you been? Hope things are great at your side of the globe. Check this baking group out and see if you happen to have this book. If you do have it or like to get it and bake along with us - it would be FAB!

    Hugs and kisses from Kuala Lumpur!


If you've got any ideas or comments, I'd love to hear from you!