Okay, I’m going to level with you, this is the only recipe that I will justify using custard powder. It’s essential to get that eggy yellow color and somewhat fake custard flavor that is a defining factor in a nanaimo bar.
This was my favorite dessert as child and would often request it for Christmas and holidays. There is something very satisfying about a well-made nanaimo bar. The ratios have to be spot on and you shouldn’t play around with them. I like a nice thick base that is soft but still has bite. The middle layer should be just slightly less and the thinnest layer is the chocolate on top. A nice, shiny chocolate glaze that has some snap is ideal.
I have only recently acquired this recipe and I can report that I will never try another recipe after this one. It is perfect, traditional, and although it’s no longer my favorite dessert, it still has a special place in my heart.
Yield: 25 Bars
- 190 g butter
- 110 g sugar
- 68 g cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- 341 g graham crumbs
- 70 g walnut pieces
- 136 g shredded sweetened coconut
- 240 g butter
- 120 ml 35% cream
- 48 g custard powder (such as Bird’s)
- 480 g icing sugar
Chocolate glaze layer:
- 6 oz good quality dark chocolate
- 1 tsp white corn syrup
- ½ cup butter
For the base layer
- Line a 9 x 13” baking pan with parchment and set aside.
- Over a bain-marie, combine butter, sugar and cocoa powder and mix until melted and combined. Add eggs and mix until mixture becomes thick and homogenous.
- Combine remaining ingredients for base and add to the chocolate mixture.
- Using your hands at first, spread mixture evenly over bottom of baking pan. Then use an offset spatula to create a nice even layer.
Bake in a 350° F oven for about 10 minutes or until mixture JUST looks baked. (I hate an overbaked nanaimo base!)
For the creamy middle layer, it’s very simple…
- Whip everything together on high until the mixture is light, creamy and spreads evenly.
- Using that offset spatula again, create a nice smooth layer over top of the cooled base.
For the chocolate glaze
- Put your ingredients over an bain-marie and take off JUST before fully melted. (you don’t want to overheat the chocolate) And let it finish melting on the counter.
- Pour over the chilled creamy layer.
Tip: Use a hot knife to slice bars!