Today’s dish is a decadent one and a Canadian original. I am talking about the infamous Nanaimo bars that originated in Nanaimo, BC.
Dating back in the 1950’s, this ultra rich dessert has evolved into a variety of variations, making that much more yummy.
It starts off with a crumbly wafer bottom, followed by a custard butter cream filling and topped off with melted chocolate.
I adapted a recipe from Anna Olson, one of the few people I religiously follow for baking how-to’s. I did not add coconut flakes as it is not a household favourite, therefore I added a little more almonds (instead of walnuts) and a little less butter.
I thought of the genius idea in replacing the top layer with Nutella, however, there is a reason why you don’t use just Nutella. It’s too thick!! Now they did come out delicious, but not as pretty as I would have hoped.
You can see in my photos where there are chunks of Nutella that take over the whole top layer. But in the end, I have other plans for this decadent treat. Stay tuned for a new recipe!
Nutella Nanaimo Bars (adapted from Anna Olson’s recipe)
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup chopped almonds (I put them through the food processor)
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
- 2 Tbsp vanilla custard powder
- Pinch of salt
- 3 Tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup of Nutella
Filling1. By hand, beat the butter with 1 cup of the icing sugar, the custard powder and a pinch of salt until smooth. Add the milk and vanilla and beat in (don’t worry if it doesn’t look smooth at this point – it will smooth out), and then beat in the remaining 1 cup of icing sugar. The filling should be smooth, layer it over the cooled crust.
Topping1. For the topping, melt the Nutella in a metal bowl placed over a pot of barely simmering water, stirring gently with a spatula until melted. Cool the chocolate slightly and then pour this over the filling, spreading to cover it.
Chill the pan for about 2 hours before slicing into bars ( I leave it overnight).