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NANAIMO BARS

Note that Finnish eggs are among the safest in the world to be eaten uncooked. To find out why, read here.

Nanaimo bars Although the topping of Nanaimo bars is usually made with some type of instant custard powder (like Bird's Custard Powder), in this recipe the commercially made product has been replaced with a simple homemade topping mixture.

bottom:
90 g butter
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
pinch of vanilla sugar
1 egg
about 300 ml finely crushed Digestive biscuits (about 9 biscuits) (McVitie's, LU)
about 180 ml finely shredded, unsweetened desiccated coconut
about 90 ml chopped walnuts or pecan nuts
vanilla topping:
3 tbsp butter
about 2 tbsp milk
5 - 6 tsp vanilla sugar of top quality
about 300 ml icing sugar
chocolate icing:
90 g sweet or semisweet dark chocolate
15 g butter

For the bottom, mix the crushed biscuits, coconut and nuts in a bowl and set aside. Melt the butter, sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla sugar in a bowl set over a hot water bath. Add the lightly whisked egg and gently heat and stir the mixture until melted, smooth and slightly thickened.

Stir in the dry ingredients. Pour the mixture in an unbuttered, small square or rectangular cake pan and press into a 2 - 2½ centimetres thick layer. Cover and refrigerate until cool and firm.

For the vanilla topping, combine the butter and the milk in a small saucepan and gently heat and stir until the butter has melted. Add the sugars through a sieve and stir until smooth.

The topping should be rather thick and stiff, so add some more icing sugar, if necessary, but not too much, since the mixture will further stiffen when refrigerated. If the topping is too thick, add some more milk. Spread the topping evenly on the cool cookie bottom, cover and refrigerate until firm.

For the chocolate icing, chop the chocolate, cut the butter in smaller pieces and place them in a small bowl over a hot (not boiling) water bath. Without stirring, let the chocolate and butter melt completely, then stir them gently until smooth.

Pour and spread the mixture evenly over the vanilla topping, working fast so that the chocolate will not set too quickly or mix with the vanilla topping underneath. Cover the pan and place in refrigerator until the chocolate layer is cool and firm. Cut the cake in rectangular bars and serve as a sweet snack or dessert with tea, coffee or ice-cold milk.


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