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The Nanaimo Bar

January 18, 2013

Foodie Friday

One of my favourite songs is by a folk singer named Deidre Flint and it’s called “Food.” The lyrics are clever and the tune is catchy, and it celebrates one of the greatest of human achievements; FOOD! From pizza to ice cream to creme brulee to escargot, humans have created literally millions of ways to enjoy feeding ourselves. I’m sharing with you today what I consider to be the ultimate in the dessert bar category: the Nanaimo bar (yes, named after the city in which I currently live). This is the official Nanaimo Bar recipe, though there are hundreds of variations. Personally, I like my chocolate top to be slightly minty, but that’s just me.

Nanaimo Bar Recipe

Bottom Layer
½ cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
¼ cup sugar
5 tbsp. cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
½ cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut

Melt first three ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8″ x 8″ pan.

Second Layer
½ cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar

Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

Third Layer
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator. When ready to serve, cut with a slightly warm blade.

Fat and Not Afraid Sig

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 18, 2013 1:29 pm

    what is “custard powder”, “icing sugar,” and “European Style Cultured Butter”? I am not familiar with these…are these location -specific terms? what are the alternatives?

    • Kala permalink
      January 23, 2013 10:53 pm

      Duckie, European butter should have a slightly higher butterfat content than regular butter. They often have it at supermarkets, at least they do by me, but it tends to cost at least 50% more than regular butter. I personally think it’s more important to consider if you’re making flaky buttery pastry, but for the purpose of this candy bar it’s probably fine to use normal butter.

  2. January 18, 2013 2:27 pm

    Well, custard powder is a thickener (, icing sugar is also known as confectioner’s sugar, and butter is just butter. 🙂 Hope that helps!

  3. February 4, 2013 3:14 pm

    I am sooooo making these for the next pot luck I am going to…I may not even wait for an occasion come to think of it…they sound too good to hold off on! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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