Thursday, January 28, 2010

Daring Bakers-Nanaimo Bars


The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. She chose Gluten Free (or not) Graham Crackers and Nanaimo Bars!

I started making the bars the same day the challenge was supposed to be revealed, another one of those time management mistakes I am known for, I blame it to my creative brain. Knowing that I had the whole day, I figured I could finish on time. But...I didn't count for the fact that I am not in possession of a camera (that's why I haven't posted much lately), and I hit a block when I realized that I didn't have the custard powder needed in the middle layer (note to self: read the recipe instructions before starting the process). I just assumed we were going to make everything from scratch, boy was I wrong. I knew this was going to be a problem since I have a revulsion for using anything that comes assembled in a box. Call me old fashioned, or stubborn, but I couldn't use a pudding mix so I first considered making my own custard, but since I wouldn't know what the consistency was, I quickly dropped that idea. Looking at other creations, especially Simona's, I thought of giving the bar a spin, after all, that's the whole point of the challenge, isn't it? Turning the bar into an ice cream sandwich was cool, I have the cookies, I have the chocolate, all I needed was vanilla ice cream and a camera...easy, right?

Lauren challenged us to make a gluten free bar, which I applaud her for. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find a sweet rice flour where I live, only white rice flour and since I didn't know whether it would work I decided to use regular all purpose flour for the graham crackers. The recipe comes from Nancy Silverton's recipe from Sweets from La Brea Bakery, found at 101cookbooks. I suspect this is the same recipe we used at a restaurant I worked at 2 years ago since DMG, the pastry chef I was working with, worked at Nancy's restaurant for a while. When I started mixing the dough everything felt really familiar. I cooked the cookies like we did at the restaurant, in a big layer and I cut them when almost set since they have the tendency of losing their shape, and turn into UFOs. I also figured that I needed the crumbs for the bottom layer so shape wasn't important.

Before I realized the problem with the middle layer I had already assembled the bottom layer, so I just froze it, added the vanilla ice cream on top, froze the two layers, cut them in squares, and then dipped them in melted chocolate. They were really yummy, not really bar like, and I am considering making them at the restaurant where I will start working at in April.


For the recipe and to see photos of some of the creations click here.

Thanks to Lauren for this challenge, and to Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice, the creators of the Daring Bakers' challenge.

14 comments:

Jenny Tan said...

Wow!! Ice-cream -nanaimo bars??!!! I'd like those better than the original...fine the original too rich for my taste - it was more of a "buttercream" than a custard, really...the custard powder was more of a flavoring/thickener.
You're not the only one making 'em on the day of the reveal! ;P LOL.

Jenny Tan said...

Oh BTW, if you're in the Bay Area, and would like to find the sweet rice flour, aka glutinous rice flour, check the Asian grocery stores. They usually have them, and for a much cheaper price too!

Jill @ Jillicious Discoveries said...

I love it! Ice cream is a much better filling. :) I can't wait to hear about your new job--congrats!! :)

Elra said...

The important thing is that you did not miss the challenge. I think if you really make this for your restaurant, it will be popular, because ice cream sandwich is always sounds delicious.

Simona said...

Your creation looks beautiful, Laura and I agree with Elra about it becoming popular. I like the idea of cutting the cookies when they are almost set. I will try it next time.

natalia said...

Cara Laura, ch bella idea ! Appena usciamo dal gelo la faccio ! Come avrai immaginato ho ancora i pacchetti mi mandi il tuo indirizzo ?

Laura said...

Jenny, there is an Asian market 20 from my town but I didn't have time to drive that day. I will try the gluten free cookies though, very important for future costumers.

Jill, thanks for the congrats, I will write to tell you more about it.

Elra, I agree, better late than never. I love ice cream sandwiches, they are so cute.

Simona, if you cut the cookies this way, you don't get a clean edge but at least the shape will look good.

Natalia, il gelato con il biscotto e' divertentissimo da fare. Anch'io devo mandarti il pacchetto, spero di avere ancora l'indirizzo.

One Girl In The Kitchen said...

Laura, che brava, anche per la tenacia. Anche io mi ero iscritta a Daring Bakers, pensavo e che ci vuole per un post al mese? Manco a dirlo, non sono nemmeno riuscita a completare la prima challenge. Non sono fatta per le scadenze!

Laura said...

Sara, hai ragione, e' difficile ogni mese trovare il tempo, anche se in teoria si hanno 4 settimane di tempo per completare la sfida. Devo dire che mi sono un po' stufata, e tra breve avro' ancora meno tempo. Il problema poi e' fotografare il tutto, da faro con luce naturale. Due palle!

natural selection said...

Nice! these nanaimo bars are taking over the planet!? are they in season or something?
Congrats! and nice blog!

Julia @Mélanger said...

What a great spin. Love the ice-cream. I paired mine with some, too! :)

bake in paris said...

Ha ha this seems like a practical solution... it definitely looks delicious and tastes great with vanilla ice cream...

And in fact, you are the first incorporated ice cream in Nanaimo bars, it is a new invention :-)

Sawadee from Bangkok,
Kris

Lisa Michelle said...

Lauara, how did I miss this? An ice cream filled, chocolate covered Nanaimo bar is a fantastic idea and puts Eskimo bars to shame, considering the lovely graham crust. Awesome, awesome creative juices!

Suzanne said...

Laura - these are lovely (as are your new eggs). I'm dying to hear about the new job. Is it what we talked about over the summer? -Suzanne

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