Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Daring Bakers - Graham Crackers & 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.


The challenge comprised first up of making your own graham crackers for the nanaimo bar crust. The do not sell graham crackers in Australia, so I was very glad to finally have a recipe for making them myself (because lots of American recipes call for them). We could make the graham crackers either gluten free or with gluten. I really wanted to try the gluten-free version, but found the flours impossible to source easily, so I made the crackers with ordinary plain flour.


Here are my graham crackers:



The crackers came off without a hitch for me - which is a relief!

Once the crackers are made, you crush some of them to make the chocolate base for the nanaimo bars:




On top of the chocolate base, you spread a custard-flavoured buttercream (which is very rich!):






Finally, you top the bars with a mixture of melted chocolate and butter. This part didn't work so well for me, probably because the chocolate was too warm for the buttercream. If I made these again, I'd probably chill the bars after the buttercream step to make it easier to spread the chocolate topping.

I found the nanaimo bars to be very sweet and rich - a little too much so for my liking. However, they disappeared at work - always a good sign.


Thanks to Lauren for hosting us this month and choosing nanaimo bars - it is something I've always wanted to try because it is a Canadian speciality not sold here. To check out how the other daring Bakers went, check out the Daring Bakers blogroll.

15 comments:

Anita said...

I was glad to be making something gluten free too. These bars were lovely.

Julia @Mélanger said...

I found these incredibly rich, too. Those Canadians must have a sweet tooth! I actually chilled my bars between layers. I was worried about the chocolate melting the custard. That seemed to work okay. I also make the gluten version.

Food.Baby said...

While I sat out this month I'm also happy to have a recipe for graham crackers. Glad these worked out well even if a little sweet!

jillbert said...

Your graham crackers look great! It's too bad you can't buy them, but the homemade are probably better anyway. I love graham crackers with peanut butter spread on top for a snack.

I was so surprised to see that you also made Nanaimo bars! I've been to Nanaimo twice, but I've never had a bar!

Johanna GGG said...

I'd love to try graham crackers too - I come across them so much and so am curious but have had nanaimo bars and they are a bit rich for me

Iron Chef Shellie said...

I love looking at everyone's interpretation of the challenge. Well done, looks delicious... and very sweet!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Great looking bars Cakelaw! :D I was also really glad to get a graham cracker recipe as I always see so many recipes asking for them :)

Lauren said...

I'm glad you enjoyed my challenge! The bars are definitely rich =D. Your bars look fantastic and the grahams look sensational!

TeaLady said...

These look great.

didn't quite get to this one. After seeing yours, wish I had.

s said...

delightful....YUMMY!!

natalia said...

Ciao ! I completed the yesterday night ! I was scared of the middle layer and changed it completely !!! Yours look lovely !

Jennifer said...

Wow! The graham crackers and bars look so delicious!!!!

Laura said...

I chilled my bars before adding the chocolate--it really does help. And I agree with you about these bars being insanely sweet. I used a really dark chocolate (86 percent bittersweet) and added extra cocoa to the base and this helped quite a lot in offsetting the sugar jolt.

Mary said...

Too bad that you didn't love the Nanaimo bars (I don't love them either), but now you can make your own graham crackers for cheesecake crusts if you like. The graham crackers were my favourite part of this challenge, and I'll definitely be making them again.

Y said...

Same here, a bit too rich and sweet for me, but an interesting challenge.