Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo bars aren't very popular in Australia, and it may come as no surprise that a Canadian colleague was actually the first person to introduce me to these delicious treats. They're a simple but unstoppable offering: a crunchy loaded base, a creamy custard filling, and a rich chocolate topping. I've made a few tweaks to the more traditional recipes, making this version vegan and giving it a chocolate ganache finish.

They're great for sharing, very decadent and ultra indulgent, so you'll only need a little to satisfy your sweet tooth. They can be a little messy and difficult to cut into pieces, but I think a lack of uniformity gives them a lovely charm! Store them in the refrigerator for up to a week and the freezer for a few months.

Ingredients for the base

  • 120g vegan butter, melted
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp egg replacer powder mixed with 2 tbs water, or per instructions to make 1 egg
  • 150g vegan biscuits like Nice or Gingernut, blitzed or chopped into thick crumbs  
  • 60g desiccated coconut
  • 60g raw or roasted walnuts, roughly chopped into small pieces

Ingredients for the custard cream

  • 130g vegan butter
  • 40ml vegan cream (if you can't find vegan cream, soy milk is fine)
  • 45g custard powder
  • 230g icing sugar
  • 35g cornflour

Ingredients for the chocolate ganache

  • 145ml vegan cream
  • 250g vegan chocolate, roughly chopped

Instructions for the base

  • Preheat oven to approximately 180 degrees Celsius and line a square or rectangular baking tray with baking paper.
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well combined, then press into prepared tray.
  • Bake for approximately 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to cool completely, on the bench or in the refrigerator.

Instructions for the custard cream

  • While the base is cooling, place all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer at the ready.
  • Beat until the mixture is smooth, then spread evenly onto the base and place in the refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours.

Instructions for the chocolate ganache

  • Remove the tray from the refrigerator.
  • Heat cream on the stove or in the microwave, until it's hot but not boiling.
  • Add chocolate pieces and leave for 1 minute to melt.
  • Stir in chocolate and mix until smooth.
  • Spread over custard mixture, then place the slice back into the refrigerator to set for at least 4 hours (ideally overnight).
  • Once fully set, cut into pieces and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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