Next-Level Nanaimo Bars
Lindt EXCELLENCE 85% Cacao Dark Chocolate Bar, 100g
9 - 12 people
- GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
- 1¾ cup (440 mL) Graham crackers (or gluten-free Graham crackers), crumbed
- ½ cup (125 mL) pecans, lightly toasted
- 1 cup (250 mL) finely shredded unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup (125 mL) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (60 mL) cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder), sifted
- 1 large egg, beaten
- VANILLA CUSTARD LAYER
- ¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) milk (or unsweetened non-dairy milk such as almond, coconut or soy)
- 2 tbsp (10 mL) vanilla custard powder (for no artificial colouring, use cornstarch or arrowroot starch instead)
- 2 cups (500 mL) powdered sugar
- ½ tsp (3 mL) pure vanilla extract
- Pinch turmeric powder, for colour (if you're not using custard powder)
- CHOCOLATE LAYER
- 2 bars (200 g) Lindt EXCELLENCE 85% Cacao Dark Chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 2 tbsp (10 mL) unsalted butter
Lindt Chocolate In This Recipe
GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST: Line a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment.
Place Graham crackers (in batches if necessary) in a food processor, and short-pulse until you have coarse cookie crumbs. You can also crush the crackers by placing them inside a plastic bag and using a rolling pin. Place crumbs in a medium bowl. Next, add toasted pecans to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped but still a bit coarser than the cookie crumbs. You can also chop the pecans with a knife. Add chopped pecans to the bowl of cookie crumbs, along with unsweetened shredded coconut. Mix well.
Using a double boiler or a heat-safe bowl set over a saucepan with a few inches of simmering water, melt butter, sugar, and sifted cocoa powder. Add the beaten egg in a stream as you whisk the mixture. Cook until thickened like pudding. Remove from heat and stir into the dry mixture. Stir until well-combined and while still warm, press into the lined baking pan as evenly as possible. Chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the next layer.
VANILLA CUSTARD LAYER: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream all the ingredients together at medium speed for about 3 to 5 minutes or until light. The mixture should be thick but spreadable. Add extra splashes of milk if too thick.
Spread onto the bottom crust layer in the pan. Put back into the refrigerator to chill.
CHOCOLATE LAYER: Use the double boiler method again (with a clean bowl) to melt the chocolate and butter. Let cool slightly.
While it is still runny, spread over the custard layer. Smooth out with a spatula. Chill in the refrigerator at least an hour or until firm.
Cut with a sharp knife into squares or bars and enjoy!
Substitutions: Gluten-free version: Simply use gluten-free Graham crackers in the base layer. Sonia recommends Pamela’s Gluten-Free Honey Graham Crackers for their high-quality ingredients. Note: this brand contains butter. For a gluten-free and dairy-free version, try brands like Kinnikinnick or Schär.
Substitutions: Vanilla custard powder: This is an ingredient traditionally called for in Nanaimo bars. Contrary to the name, custard powder is not custard at all. It’s a dairy-free powder made primarily of cornstarch, sugar, vanilla flavouring and artificial yellow colour that mimics the appearance of custard. If you’re unable to find vanilla custard powder or would prefer to avoid the additives, you can easily substitute one-for-one with cornstarch or arrowroot starch (Bob’s Red Mill is Sonia’s go-to). To maintain the yellow colour, add a pinch (¼ tsp) of turmeric powder. And don’t worry, you won’t taste the turmeric in the bars! Or feel free to mix it up and keep the middle layer white.
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