Wednesday, January 27, 2010
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
Makes a 8 x 8 inch bar, cut into desirable size
1. Graham Wafers
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Dark chocolate > 115 grams
- Salted butter > 2 tablespoons
- 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.