Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Daring Bakers' Nanaimo Bars



This challenge is hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen who is now busy compiling feel-at-home recipes for her ebook, an actual contributing action for Haiti relief. Bloggers have been asked to send their most-loved, most-made recipes that make them feel at home. The final ebook will be published to raise money for Haiti and available soon for online purchase. Kudos to her wonderful thoughts and I wish her all the best and great sucess for the ebook in regards to both its completion and sale. Double kudos for her initiative of taking up this DB hosting assignment in the midst of her major charity effort. Thanks Lauren!



This Nanaimo Bars challenge was full of surprises. First, while I was baking the Graham Wafer, I was surprised of how much puffing occured to the previously neat and flat squares of wafer dough on my baking tray. They inflated tremendously and became out of shape. Fortunately once they were cool and hard, the taste was nice with buttery aroma! And there I was actually thinking of baking it again and serving as stand-alone cookies.



Second, as I was mixing the ingredients for the bottom layer, I was surprised that it was amazingly possible to mix the whole great amount of dry mixture (a lot of coconut shreds, nuts and crumbs) with seemingly very small amount of liquid mixture (egg.,butter, sugar, and cocoa) and yet yielded a pliable mixture pressable into a cake ring. Wow!



And third surprise was the apparently-too-much icing sugar while entirely mixed into the butter custard mixture still resulted a not-dry, thick-yet-soft consistency just nice for the middle layer. And this is actually my favorite layer as I managed to marry the buttery flavor with passion fruit's fresh sourness and produced an interesting refreshing taste. This recipe would be suitable for great tropical icing for cakes! Yummy yummy...



Finally, I was surprised that the top layer was so hard after overnight refrigeration. I was thinking maybe I shoud do a second round with a softer version of chocolate layer like the chocolate glaze on cheese cakes. But would it be suitable for bars? Lets' see...



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 http://www.nanaimo.ca/

I have made some adjustments to the challenge recipe. The original recipe could be found here



NANAIMO BARS
Makes a 8 x 8 inch bar, cut into desirable size

1. Graham Wafers
Ingredients:
- All purpose flour > 100 grams
- Tapioca flour > 50 grams
- Brown sugar > 100 grams
- Baking soda > 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt > 1/2 teaspoon
- Salted butter - cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen > 50 grams
- Honey / passionfruit syrup > 50 ml
- Milk > 50 ml



Method:
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. If making by hand, combine aforementioned dry ingredients with a whisk, then cut in butter until you have a coarse meal. No chunks of butter should be visible.
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey or passionfruit syrup and milk. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.
- Turn the dough onto a surface dusted with flour and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.



- Remove from fridge and roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be quite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place wafers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Prick chilled wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in two or more rows.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.
- When cooled completely, place enough wafers in food processor to make crumbs. Set aside.



2. Nanaimo Bars
Ingredients:
Bottom Layer:
- Salted butter > 115 grams
- Granulated sugar > 50 grams
- Cocoa > 5 tablespoons
- Large egg - slightly beaten > 1
- Above Graham wafer crumbs > 160 grams
- Chopped roasted almonds > 55 grams
- Desiccated coconut >130 grams



Middle Layer:
- Salted butter > 115 grams
- Whipping cream > 40 ml
- Custard powder > 2 tablespoons
- Icing sugar > 254 grams
- Passionfruit juice > 4 tablespoons
- Lime juice > 1/2 teaspoon
Top Layer:
- Dark chocolate > 115 grams
- Salted butter > 2 tablespoons



Method:
- 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.
- For Middle Layer: Cream butter, cream, custard powder, passionfruit juice, lime juice and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.



- For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.

65 comments:

  1. Absolutely perfect! Good job!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ok Kris, yours would have to be the most perfectly shaped and neat Nanaimo Bars I've ever seen. They are, well, perfect!

    Stunning photos as always!

    ReplyDelete
  3. WOW! This is really interesting. I'm going to make this after the Chinese New Year.
    **Again to say: I always like your stunning pictures ;D

    ReplyDelete
  4. As perfect as perfect can be, like in a pastry shop. I love the addition of passion fruit in there.WOW... you've done a gorgeous job!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the idea of passionfruit flavour in the mid layer! Had to be delicious. This challenge was full of surprises (good ones) for me too... And as always - beautiful, beautiful photos :)
    Cheers from rainy Ireland!
    Anula.

    ReplyDelete
  6. They look so beautiful and delicate! Stunning work and pics, as usual!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  7. Beautiful! I'm actually making these for the Olympics Opening Ceremonies night because I read they were a Canadian treat. Beautiful pictures, as always!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great job as usual.

    When I was making graham crackers at a restaurant I was working at, we used to bake the cookies as one layer and when almost done we used to score the dough so they would keep the shape we wanted.

    I haven't made the challenge yet, as I can't find the sweet rice flour. I will have to make the recipe with regular flour I am afraid.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Absolutely beautiful! Stunning pictures. I am really loving the passionfruit addition. Such a refreshing take. I just cannot stop staring at your pictures. Perfection.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Simply beautiful. How did you get such neat perfect slices? I love sweet and sour together. Your filling sounds wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  11. All daring bakers are equal, but some are a little more equal than others..... congratulations, your bars are very wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Can I just first say that I love the colorful styling on these gorgeous photos!! Just love it! Great idea too to get them with a passionfruit flavor. Looking at the photos I can almost taste it! I can't wait to make them myself (yes, I forgot... will do them tomorrow!)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Passion fruit filling! That is double YUM! Your bars look soooo good I really wish you were my neighbour!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm at loss for words, really.
    I keep jumping from blog to blog to see what all other daring bakers have come up with - and somehow they just keep getting better and better. I don't get it. O.o

    Your bars look perfect and passion fruit sounds delicious. (:

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your Nanaimo bars look so perfect! I also loved the buttercream layer, but then, I love buttercream frosting anyway ;) Beautiful work on the challenge, as always :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh WOW!! they are beautiful!!! Like the addition of passion fruit flavor.. fruits do lighten an otherwise rich dessert! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. wowwww, were we making the same thing? cuz yours look beyond amazing! i love how you got each bar to look so clean-cut... i had trouble with that and ended up with cracked layers and smudged sides. ANd passionfruit juice for the custard layer sounds yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  18. A passion fruit middle layer? Divine! So lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow what gorgeous pictures!! Nanaimo bars look classic!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Your bars are absolutely angelic! I just adore your style.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Your bars look absolutely angelic, fabulous job!

    ReplyDelete
  22. wow great looking photos! i love your blog! the addition of passion fruit sounds very interesting

    ReplyDelete
  23. Your bars look absolutely amazing! Such beautiful pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Kris,
    Welcome to the Daring Baker, your Nanaimo bars look beautiful. Passion fruit was a great idea for the filling.
    Mimi

    ReplyDelete
  25. Your Bars are just beautiful! The pale apricot colour and the chocolate look amazing together.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Pure, complete GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It looks absolutely GORGEOUS

    ReplyDelete
  27. well they certainly look perfect and non-puffy! i love the colors and the photography.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wow! Your bars look so precise and neat! You did a fantastic job on the challenge! My favorite part was the graham crackers:) The middle layer was too rich for me, but that was a great idea to balance it out with the passion fruit.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Some of your surprises mirror my own: I was also convinced the bottom layer would be too dry, and my top layer was also too hard.

    But passion fruit, there's a real surprise! The bars look beautiful, and I'll be they taste amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wow! Your bars are just gorgeous! I love the idea of flavoring the middle layer with passion fruit. Sounds very refreshing and delicious. And your photos are just stunning!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Excellent photos! You deserve all of your "good looking blog awards...

    ReplyDelete
  32. These photos are just gorgeous. I love the salted butter in the top chocolate layer idea too.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Your bars are just delightful. So perfect. I love the little frosting on top. Even though I've had more than my fill of these bars, your photographs just make me drool for more. So beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Exquisite! I just can't get over how evenly formed and pretty they are, real gourmet Nanaimos.

    ReplyDelete
  35. i love your presentation....I really need to make these sometime...perhaps when I move into my new apt and actually have my own kitchen! Love love LOVE the passionfruit variation!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi there, thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Your bars look really lovely, these baking challenges are very intriguing!

    Anna x

    ReplyDelete
  37. Absoutely stunning photography and styling! I agree that buttercream layer was divine and was just the same to a friend about using it as a cake icing! :D

    ReplyDelete
  38. It's always fun to watch Daring Bakers and see how everyone intreprets the challenge. I bet I've seen 7 or 8 Nanaimo Bar blogs and yours wins hands down. For using passion fruit, which I adore- and I think it would balance out the sweetness of the buttercream. (BTW, great idea to use it as a frosting.) And you cut your bars to perfection. Very professional. Your photography is beautiful!
    So enjoyed visiting your blog and I will return frequently!
    Thanks for visiting mine and being patient with my complaining, something I have never done before! Going to post something new today.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Kris, these are stunning creations and another masterpiece. Not forgetting brilliant clicks and beautiful presentation.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Your bars are so unbelievably perfect!
    Lovely job with the challenge and the photography, as usual!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Kris, coming here, I always know to expect beautiful things. Your take on my challenge is beautiful and brilliant, the passionfruit sounds heavenly =D.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Love the idea of the passion fruit filling! They look gorgeous:)...almost too nice to eat......almost

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thanks for stopping by on my blog .... But your bars are amazing! The photography, the styling, the perfection in your slicing...I could go on and on. And passionfruit filling is a great idea. I have some passionfruit in the freezer so I think I will try your idea.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Your bars turned out so beautiful!! I love the passion fruit idea--such a delicious flavor!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  45. WOW! Amazing photography, had me drooling at the desk :)
    Thanks for letting me know about your blog, I shall be keeping up to date with the happenings of your kitchen now =)

    ReplyDelete
  46. Beautiful color you got on the middle layer. The flavour combination sounds yummy. You did a great job!

    ReplyDelete
  47. love the colours. You've done a wonderful job (like always) :P

    ReplyDelete
  48. I love the passionfruit. I did ganache on top of mine, and really liked that in place of the chocolate/butter combo.

    ReplyDelete
  49. look so amazing Kris!!!!!

    i can't wait to try this menu ^^

    ReplyDelete
  50. Gorgeous job! I love your choice of passion fruit & lime. I bet the flavors cut the intense sweetness of the bars. Your photos and presentation are simply fabulous.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

    ReplyDelete
  51. I am speechless, what an amazing blog! Absolutely beautiful, and so are your Nanaimo bars.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Wow! I love your passionfruit bars. They look mouthwatering. And especially love the litte piped detail on top. But I'm also quite in love with your white lacy dishes. What perfect props, but just what lovely serving dishes. I see those at afternoon tea for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  53. My latin teacher in high school used to make nanaimo bars for our Latin Club bake sales (geeky, I know): they would drive the whole school wild. This take on the classic is intriguing and the pictures are definitely appealing! I've just discovered your blog and love it already :)

    ReplyDelete
  54. Your Nanaimo bars looks beautiful! And the photos/presentation, gorgeous like always! :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. j'ai passé un bon moment à les contempler c'est une merveille tes photos alors le gâteau je n'imagine même pas le gout que ça a!!!!!
    bravo
    bonne soirée

    ReplyDelete
  56. Absolutely gorgeous. I wish I could have one right this very second! I love the addition of passion fruit.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Wow your bars are beautiful and accurately done. Mine are more the rustic style. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  58. Your bars are gorgeous, Kris. As always, I'm having difficulty deciding which I like more, the bars or your pics? :)
    Mine were orange too, just different flavour.

    If you come to India, you'll find a lot more than custard powder here. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  59. Lovely, lovey photos! The color of your butter layer is so pretty.

    ReplyDelete
  60. They look beautiful, fabulous photography and I adore the little plates!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Kris - Geesh, I thought I left you a comment - belated brain freeze, considering I've looked at them a gazillion times! My goodness, they are gorgeous, and passion fruit sounds like the perfect flavor to balance the richness. Love, love the pale orange color, and you cut them so perfectly neat. You are amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  62. I just discovered your blog via Barbara Bakes. Your pictures are AMAZING and I have subscribed. Lovely work, I have stumbled 2 of your recent posts.

    ReplyDelete