Dinner with Duria: Nanaimo Bars


It’s Canadian Thanksgiving – and Rob suggested we make an authentic dessert: Nanaimo Bars!


Bottom layer:

– ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

– ¼ cup granulated sugar

– 5 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder

– 1 beaten egg

– 1 ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs (about 12 sheets)

– ½ cup finely chopped almonds

– 1 cup of sweetened grated coconut

Middle layer:

– ½ cup unsalted butter, softened

– 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (or 3 tablespoons) of heavy cream

– 2 tablespoons of Bird’s vanilla custard powder

– 2 cups of powdered sugar

Top layer:

– 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

– 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter


1. Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper. Put aside.

2. For the bottom layer: Melt butter in a large heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water over medium-low heat (a double boiler). Add the sugar, cocoa powder and salt and whisk until well combined. Slowly pour in the beaten egg and mix until it barely thickens.

3. Remove from heat and stir in graham cracker crumbs, coconut and almonds.

4. Press firmly into the baking dish. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.

5. For the middle layer: add the powdered sugar, butter, custard powder and heavy cream to the blender and whisk until light and fluffy. Spread the mixture in an even layer over the bottom layer. Refrigerate in the freezer while melting the chocolate for the top layer.

6. For the top layer: Melt chocolate and butter over low heat until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over filling. Refrigerate until the chocolate has set.

7. Cut into squares and bring to room temperature before serving.

NOTES: Chop dry ingredients for bottom layer in food processor.

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