Dining with Duria: Nanaimo Bars

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


Bottom layer:

-          ½ cup unsalted butter, diced into pieces

-          ¼ cup granulated sugar

-          5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

-          1 egg, beaten

-          1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs (about 12 sheets)

-          ½ cup almonds, finely chopped

-          1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Middle Layer:

-          ½ cup unsalted butter, softened

-          2 tbsp & 2 tsp (or 3 tbsp) heavy cream

-          2 tbsp Bird’s vanilla custard powder

-          2 cups powdered sugar

Top Layer:

-          4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

-          2 tbsp unsalted butter


1.       Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.  Set aside.

2.       For the Bottom Layer: Melt butter in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water set over medium-low heat (a double boiler).  Add in sugar, cocoa powder, and salt and whisk until well combined.  Slowly pour in beaten egg and mix until just thickened.

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

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

5.       For the Middle Layer: Add powdered sugar, butter, custard powder, and heavy cream to mixer and whip until light and fluffy.  Spread mixture into an even layer over bottom layer.  Chill in freezer while melting chocolate for the top layer.

6.       For the Top Layer: Melt chocolate and butter over low heat until smooth.  Spread mixture into an even layer over the filling.  Chill until chocolate has set.

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

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