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.
Lauren chose the Nanaimo as a tribute to the 2010 Winter Olympics, to be held in Vancouver.
Can we say "Go for Gold" ?
The Nanaimo Bar (pronounced Nah-nye-Moh) looks very much like an Aussie caramel slice but tastes quite different. I don’t much care for caramel slice (sacrilege!), but found the Nanaimos irresistible. For the uninitiated, the bar is made up of a chocolatey graham cracker base studded with nuts and coconut, then a middle layer very akin to simple buttercream (with added custard powder), then a rich melted chocolate topping to finish it off. Even reading about it is enough to induce drooling…no?
Surprisingly, a few DB’ers weren't on the same page. There were a few judgemental comments about this poor little bar. Just my opinion, but I think a little bit of food snobbery was involved – is it because this was a no-bake bar? Or was it the use of custard powder in the filling layer?
To be honest, I was quite sceptical at first about the addition of custard powder. Still not quite sure what role it plays (a stabilizer perhaps?), but the taste was unexpectedly good. I actually didn’t muck about with the recipe as I usually do- the only minor tweak was adding about 1 tbsp of maple syrup to the filling, in honour of this being a Canadian dessert.
I also really enjoyed the first part of this challenge – the gluten free graham crackers. Having seen so many recipes calling for graham cracker crumbs, it was pretty exciting to finally make some - gluten free ones to boot! They smelt absolutely amazing when baking and tasted great.
Gluten-free Graham Cracker Moose
Again, there were a few mutterings about how under whelming some folks found this cracker. I think the secret is in the honey – good honey = good result. The cracker dough also needs to be rolled out quite thin to get crisp crackers. Some of the thicker cookies I made ended up being a bit chewy, but hey, I still have all my own teeth* and I’m not afraid to use them.
Okay, so I mucked around a little bit: Graham Cracker moose with buttercream layer and chocolate topping served with vanilla ice-cream topped with toasted almonds and coconut.
So thanks for a fun challenge Lauren and good luck with the e-book ( Hand for Haiti)
Challenge recipe can be found here, and do check out what the other Daring Bakers did for their challenge.
*well, almost all my own - had an accident over 10 years ago and knocked out a front tooth, but I can still chew ok?