Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gluten Free Nanaimo Bars - A Canadian treat from the Daring Bakers

When Kathleen came to the house, I happen to have my friend  Lisa’s Christmas Chocolate Balls which are Gluten free to serve her, but it made me realize how challenging it can be for someone who has Celiac .  So when the Daring bakers challenge was gluten free Nanaimo Bars, I was thrilled to participate – not only because it involves making gluten free wafers, but I AM CANADIAN!!!!  Nanaimo Bars are a classic Canadian dessert created in none other than Nanaimo, British Columbia. In case you were wondering, it’s pronounced Nah-nye-Moh. These bars have 3 layers: a base containing- graham crackers, cocoa, coconut and nuts, a middle custard layer, and a topping of chocolate. They are extremely rich and available almost everywhere across the country.  And of course the Olympics are in Canada this year so let's celebrate with Nanaimo Bars!

The Gluten free element is really the wafers which make up the first layer.  It was very easy to make them and  you can't tell they are gluten free.

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and

The wafers
Ingredients - The wafers are great to have around but you can make half the recipe for these Nanaimo Bars.
  • 1 cup (138 g) (4.9 ounces) Sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour)
  • 3/4 cup (100 g) (3.5 ounces) Tapioca Starch/Flour 
  • 1/2 cup (65 g) (2.3 ounces) Sorghum Flour  (I got this at Noah's in Toronto but it is available at many health food stores)
  • 1 cup (200 g) (7.1 ounces) Dark Brown Sugar, Lightly packed 
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) Baking soda 
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4 mL ) Kosher Salt 
  • 7 tablespoons (100 g) (3 ½ ounces) Unsalted Butter (Cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen) 
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) Honey, Mild-flavoured such as clover. 
  • 5 tablespoons (75 mL) Whole Milk 
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) Pure Vanilla Extract 

1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. If mixing by hand, combine dry ingredients with a whisk, then cut in butter until you have a coarse meal. No chunks of butter should be visible.

2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.

3. Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with sweet rice flour and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.

4. Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of sweet rice flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick.  I rolled the dough directly on the parchment paper.   The dough will be quite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares right on the parchment paper.  Gather the scraps together and set aside. Move the parchment paper with the  wafers onto the baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.

5. Adjust the rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).

6. Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more sweet rice flour and roll out the dough to get a couple more wafers.

7. Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in two or more rows.

8. Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.

9. When cooled completely, place enough wafers in food processor to make 1 ¼ cups (300 mL) of crumbs. Another way to do this is to place in a large ziplock bag, force all air out and smash with a rolling pin until wafers are crumbs.

The bottom layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup (50 g) (1.8 ounces) Granulated Sugar
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) (160 g) (5.6 ounces) Gluten Free Graham Wafer Crumbs (See previous recipe)
1/2 cup (55 g) (1.9 ounces) Almonds (Any type, Finely chopped)
1 cup (130 g) (4.5 ounces) Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)

For bottom Layer: Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.

The middle layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (40 mL) Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Vanilla Custard Powder (Such as Bird’s. Vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.)
2 cups (254 g) (8.9 ounces) Icing Sugar

Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer. 

The top layer 

4 ounces (115 g) Semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons (28 g) (1 ounce) Unsalted Butter

Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.

These bars freeze very well, so don’t be afraid to pop some into the freezer.   Remember this dessert is very rich so a little piece is all you need.
Now sit back and enjoy a  taste of Canada!

Until we bake again...


1 comment:

creampuff said...

Love it! I love how definited your layers are. My chocolate layer seemed pretty thin so the filling sort of leaked into it. Thinking of you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...