Nanaimo bars, named after the City of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, are a staple for holidays and special occasions and Father’s Day is no exception. One bite into the creamy triple layers of rich butter, cream, and chocolate will immediately transport you to cloud nine.
In this recipe the secret to success is the size of the pan used. A 23×23-cm (9×9-inch) pan instead of a 20×20-cm (8×8-inch) pan will keep the custard layer from being too sweet and give the extra-thick chocolate layer a subtle richness. You will receive rave reviews on this version.
Makes 24 squares
125 ml (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
50 ml (1/4 cup) sugar
45 ml (3 tbsp) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 large egg, beaten
5 ml (1 tsp) pure vanilla extract
500 ml (2 cups) graham cracker crumbs
250 ml (1 cup) fine coconut
125 ml (1/2 cup) walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
50 ml (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
500 ml (2 cups) confectioners’ sugar
30 ml (2 tbsp) Bird’s custard powder
45-60 ml (3-4 tbsp) milk or half and half cream
6-28 g (1 oz) squares Bakers semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
30 ml (2 tbsp) unsalted butter
In top of double boiler melt first three ingredients; add egg and vanilla and cook, stirring constantly for a few seconds, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat immediately. Stir in crumbs, coconut and nuts. Press mixture evenly into a 23×23-cm (9×9-inch) pan.
In an electric mixing bowl cream butter, add icing sugar, custard powder and cream. Beat until light and fluffy. If mixture is too thick to spread add more cream or if too thin add more confectioners’ sugar. Spread the filling over bottom layer. Refrigerate while third layer is being prepared.
In a heatproof bowl over simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter until smooth and lump-free. Spread over second layer and set in refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes. Before chocolate sets too hard, cut into squares with a sharp knife. Store in fridge or freezer.