Saturday, June 18, 2011

Andrew the Baker

In NZ Andrew may be famous for his love of lamb, wine and barbecuing.  Here in VTE he has added baking to his list of talents. 

More specifically, one item of ‘baking’, the Nanaimo bar.  We 1st tried it at the Joma Café "world-famous-in-vientiane".  It turned out it was a no-bake recipe and…as we have no oven…perfect.  It is like a chocolate fudge slice but with a layer of custard icing through the middle.

Last weekend we were invited out for dinner.  Not unusual, but it wasn't our scintillating presence that was the main reason for the invitation this time.  Instead the motives were:
1.            So Andrew could cook a large piece of beef fillet the purchaser had no idea how to cook – but it proved no challenge to Master Chef Andrew and
2.            So everyone could taste the often boasted about, baking prowess of Andrew and his Nanaimo.
Here is a quick picture of the remaining small pieces of slice.  This needed to be taken in bad light and with AJ grumbling away "can I eat it now?", "hurry-up" 

Once the photo was taken Andrew hoovered up his share.  He had protested at the amount we took out for dinner was excessive as he wanted more left at home, but it went down a treat there too.

The recipe is on the website of the city of Nanaimo (in Canada )  www.nanaimo.ca

Nanaimo Bar Recipe

Bottom Layer
½ cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
¼ cup sugar
5 tbsp. cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
½ c. finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut
Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8" x 8" pan.
Second Layer
½ cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar
Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.
Third Layer
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

We substitute extra coconut for the almond in the base - mainly because we would have to find ground almond somewhere around here!
And Andrew has learned that doubling the chocolate might sound yummy, but it makes it impossible to cut and just a bit too rich!

PS. Dinner was great and we had a fun evening

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