Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Daring Bakers #10 Graham Wafers and Canadian Nanaimo Bars...

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 www.nanaimo.ca.

I was looking forward to this challenge, as I want to go and visit Canada some day and was very happy to have an opportunity to try something Canadian :) Although it was quite time consuming - with making my own wafers, for the first time! - I enjoyed it a lot! The final result was delicious! Once everything was made the worst thing was waiting, waiting for the bars to chill and set properly. I made some Olympic rings to honour this years Winter Olympics. I was left with a lot of melted white chocolate and decided to add it to the middle layer. All in all - great challenge, delicious dessert perfect for parties, as you can make it in a big dish and just cut small individual portions. But... you need a strong coffee to go with it - as they are VERY sweet and filling dessert! If you want to know more about Nanaimo bars go here.



How to make it...

Gluten-Free Graham Wafers
Ingredients:
- 1 cup sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour)
- 3/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 100 g unsalted butter (Cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen)
- 1/3 cup honey, mild-flavoured such as clover.
- 5 tablespoons whole milk
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract



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, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky. Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with sweet rice flour and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.
Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of sweet rice flour onto the work surface 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. Repeat with the second batch of dough. Adjust the rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat oven to 180 C. Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more sweet rice flour and roll out the dough to get a couple more wafers. Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in two or more rows.
Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Might take less, and the starting location of each sheet may determine its required time. The ones that started on the bottom browned faster. When cooled completely, place enough wafers in food processor to make 1 ¼ cups (300 mL) of crumbs. Another way to do this is to place in a large ziplock bag, force all air out and smash with a rolling pin until wafers are crumbs.

Anula's changes:
- I didn't make gluten-free version, I used 2 1/2 cups plain unbleached flour
- Instead of adding 1 cup brown sugar I mixed 1/3 cup dark muscavado sugar and 2/3 brown sugar
- had to add 2 more tablespoons of milk, for the dough to stick together



Nanaimo Bars
Ingredients:
For Nanaimo Bars — Bottom Layer
- 1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 1/4 cups (160 g) graham wafer crumbs
- 1/2 cup (55 g) almonds (any type, finely chopped)
- 1 cup (130 g) coconut (shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)

For Nanaimo Bars — Middle Layer
- 1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (40 ml) heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder (Such as Bird’s)
- 2 cups (254 g) icing sugar

Anula's changes:
- added 50 g melted white chocolate to this layer



For Nanaimo Bars — Top Layer
- 115 g semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter

Anula's changes:
- I omitted the butter completely and used milk chocolate



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, 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.



Smacznego!

Nanaimo Bar

22 comments:

  1. I love your Olympic ring idea! Your grahams baked up perfectly. Great job on this challenge!

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  2. Anula, these look great! I am Canadian and made Nanimo Bars for my fiance and his UK family for Christmas and they gobbled them all up! A very easy and satisying treat! (I dont make my own wafers though!):)

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  3. amazing work, adore the white chocolate idea.

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  4. Aww love the Olympic rings! It was a great challenge wasn't it! :D

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  5. Wow! Your Nanaimo Bars look incredible! And how did you cut them out so neatly?? :) Great idea adding white choc to the middle layer. Delicious! x

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  6. Such pretty graham crackers and your bars look great!

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  7. So cute
    what a lovely bars and beautiful decoration.

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  8. Your graham crackers look amazing! Great job.

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  9. Nice idea...looks wonderful!

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  10. the olympic rings are a great final touch to your yummy bars. good job on the challenge!

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  11. I love your graham crackers! Your bars look so smooth and gorgeous-Great job! The olympic rings add a nice touch:)

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  12. Love the final touch. Good job with the challenge.

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  13. The Olympic rings are such a sweet touch! I'm so glad you enjoyed my challenge =D. Your bars look amazing!

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  14. I love the Olympic Rings on the Nanaimo Bars--and the step by step pics are great! :)

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  15. Love the Olympic rings!! Great work on the challenge :D

    And in answer to your question about my balcony... never had a bird try to eat anything YET, but I'm always prepared to shoo away any unwanted visitors during my photo shoots. HA!

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  16. Lovely job, bravo! I'm glad you liked them!

    I live in Montreal, Canada, and it's -30 degree Celsius today... On days like this I sometimes curse my decision to live here, but it passes quickly. :-) Do come visit Canada, there's a lot to see and do!

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  17. Fantastic looking dessert and love the Olympic Rings you added to the Nanaimo. Nice Touch!

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  18. They look fantstic and I like the shape of them too... great size for cutting.

    The picture of the giant graham cracker is cool.

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Thank you for taking your time and leaving a comment. It means a lot!
Pozdrawiam, Anula.