Nanaimo Cake / Bar

This is a quick draft post to remind me what I did to change the classic Nanaimo Bar recipe to something with a little more volume in the second layer so it'll be somewhat taller; more cake-like than a thin flat bar (think... Tiramisu). And although I'm calling it a draft I'll publish it so you all can 'share the experience'.

The regular "Nanaimo" is a pretty flat little thing so I put wax paper around the sides of the pan to allow for more height. Here's a pic of the traditional ones:

Make the usual Nanaimo Bar filling (butter, icing sugar, Birds Custard Powder and cream) then add (this is the "tweaking" part; the big experiment):

  • Dessert Syrup:
    • Which is Simple Syrup (400 ml - sugar and water [equal amounts]), heated to 105C and poured slowly into 2 whipped egg yolks (probably would have been better with 3); continue whipping until cool. maybe that should have been 110C. It takes quite a while to get it up to this temperature - I ran out of patience.
  • Add ¼ tsp of vanilla powder (which I added to the hot mixture, a mistake. One doesn't add flavour to something boiling hot because it burns off the aromatics; wait until it's cool).
  • Mix dessert syrup with filling.
  • Whip 400 ml heavy cream;
    • fold into above mixture.
  • Pour onto chilled Nanaimo Bar base (which is graham crackers, coconut, toasted walnuts, butter and cocoa - and
    • spread evenly.
  • Chill really well (into the freezer if it doesn't "take" in the fridge)
Volume-wise it seems to have worked. The cake/bar is certainly taller than the regular Nanaimo Bar. Still, not a really tall result - I would have preferred about 50% more height.

Hopefully this will "set" sufficiently to stand alone and be able to take a chocolate topping.

Later, I'll top it with the chocolate layer (melted dark unsweetened chocolate with sugar and butter); which I better pour on when it's pretty cool to avoid melting the whipped cream in the filling.

This is a lot like doing a mascarpone filling but with a butter/powdered-sugar mix to start instead of the mascarpone cheese. Hey! Why not just make a regular mascarpone filling and flavour it with Birds? Wish I'd thought of that yesterday. Maybe next time (which might be tomorrow if this concoction doesn't work).

No comments: