A slice of Heaven - Nanaimo Bars


Motto: I dedicate this recipe to the Canadian consulate in Bucharest that refused my visa application for Canada, few years ago.

If you are a chocolate or cocoa lover then you are just on the right way to find out how you can be "killed" by your love. It's a joke of course but, after you will read this material, maybe you'll say.."Yeah, you are right!". But, let see few facts about the history of a slice of Heaven called Nanaimo Bars.
In the early 1950s, Mabel Jenkins, a local housewife from Cowichan Bay, submitted the recipe to the annual Ladysmith and Cowichan Women's Institute Cookbook. This cookbook was sold in the early 1950s in the region as a fundraiser. It became popular in many of the province's households, especially in company towns, and was sold in many of the coffee shops on Nanaimo's Commercial Street. 
In 1986, Nanaimo Mayor Graeme Roberts, British Columbia, Canada, in conjunction with Harbour Park Mall, initiated a contest to find the ultimate Nanaimo Bar Recipe. During the four-week long contest, almost 100 different variations of the famous confection were submitted. The winner: Joyce Hardcastle

JOYCE'S OFFICIAL 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 chapped 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.





You can built this cake in a buttered form or, as I did it, in individual portions.
If somebody will ask me to make a review, then I can say for sure that's one of the most surprising, amazing, interesting, flavorful and smooth cake that I ate it before. Perhaps due to its high cocoa. Perhaps due to its history. Who knows ? 

Romanian version: 

Daca esti un indragostit de ciocolata si cacao atunci esti in locul perfect unde poti afla exact cum poti fi "omorit" de iubirea vietii tale. Glumesc desigur dar, dupa ce vei citi acest material, poate ca vei spune:" Daaa, ai dreptate". 
Hai sa-ti povestesc cite ceva despre istoria unei bucati de Rai numit Nanaimo Bars.
Undeva, in jurul anilor '50, o gospodina din Cowichan Bay, Canada, gospodina pe numele ei Mabel Jenkins s-a gindit sa intre intr-un concurs de bucatareala cu o reteta proprie de prajitura care nu necesita timpi de coacere sau abilitati speciale de gatire. Si, poate fara nimic surprinzator in acest fapt, reteta respectiva a cistigat concursul. De atunci, Nanaimo Bars a devenit emblema orasului al carui nume il poarta.Si starea de fapt nu se rezuma doar la asta. In 1986, primarul orasului Nanaimo a initiat tot un concurs de bucatareala in urma caruia s-a vrut aflarea a cit mai multe retete recente, purtatoare a numelui devenit brand intre timp. Pe durata a 4 saptamini de competitie, peste 100 de retete de Nanaimo Bars si-au perindat formele, aromele si savoarea pes sub nasul si ochii jurizantilor. Grea treaba si incercare! Cine a fost cistigatoare ? Joyce Hardcastle, a carei reteta o puteti afla publicata si pe site-ul oficial al municipalitatii din Nanaimo-City,Brith Columbia, Canada.
Am facut-o, am gustat-o, am savurat-o dar supremul test a fost trecut in momentul in care a mea jumatate oficiala(o prea conservatoare limba si deschidere in domeniu) a declarat ca e "grozava".
Poti face prajitura intr-o forma unsa sau in portii individuale, asa cum eu am facut-o.
Daca cineva imi cere sa fac un review al acestei retete...hmmm, nu stiu ce-as spune mai intii. Cu certitudine as spune ca este una dintre cele mai interesante, surprinzatoare, savuroase, aromate si fine prajituri ce-am mincat pina acum.Poate datorita continutului mare de cacao, poate datorita istoriei din spate. Cine stie?

Primul strat:
1/2 cana unt nesarat 
1/4 cana zahar                                                   
5 l-ri cacao
1-2 oua batut
1 1/4 cani napolitane graham, maruntite (eu am folosit biscuiti vrac)
1/2 cana migdale maruntite(se pot folosi si nuci)
1 cana nuca de cocos
Topeste primele 3 ingrediente. Adauga ouale si amesteca. Da deoparte de pe foc. Adauga napolitanele, nuca de cocos si migdalele. Amesteca bine si preseaza bine compozitia pe fundul unei forme unse cu unt, formind un strat de prajitura.
Al doilea strat:
1/2 cana unt nesarat
2 l-ri si 2 l-te de frisca
2 l-ri zahar vanilat
2 cani zahar pudra
Se amesteca toate. Se bat pina textura capata o culoare ceva mai deschisa. Intinde crema peste primul strat. (Ei bine, aici am intervenit in cantitati, punindu-le mai mult dupa ochi si reducind din cantitatea de unt suplimentind-o pe cea de frisca).
Al treilea strat:
4 patrate de ciocolata semi-dulce sau neagra
2 l-ri unt nesarat
Topeste ciocolata si untul la temperatura joasa. Raceste compozitia si, cind este inca lichida toarn-o peste prajitura. Da totul la frigider.


In loc de motto: dedic aceasta reteta consulatului canadian din Bucuresti care mi-a refuzat cererea pentru visa de intrare in Canada cu ceva ani in urma.



Enjoy !
          
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