Nanaimo bars are a Canadian bar from the city of Nanaimo. They have a biscuit and walnut base, custard in the middle and chocolate on top. They’re a good ‘make-ahead’ dessert for Canada Day on July 1st and a change from the predictable maple syrup and pancakes.
Archive for Bars / Traybakes
These peanut butter bars have crushed Oreos on top. They were good, but next time I’d use the recipe below (doubled from my attempt) and spread another layer of batter on top to sandwich the Oreos inside.
A traditional Mexican bread pudding made around Easter/Lent. It should really use piloncillo, a type of sugar shaped like a cone, but dark brown sugar can be used instead if you can’t find this. It uses cheese! The type of cheese is up to you – some suggest Monterey Jack while others use cheddar. Cheese tends to be more of a savoury ingredient, but there are some well known pairings in desserts – cheesecake, cheese and apples and cheese and biscuits. I used cheddar for this because it was all I could find. With hindsight, this may have been a bad choice – the taste was… interesting. This had a marmite type response with everyone who tried it – they either loved it or hated it. Good to try for Easter but not one I’d try again.
Chocolate brownies studded with Cadbury’s Creme Egg chunks. These were a tad on the gooey side, possibly due to me not cutting the Creme Eggs small enough and possibly because they should have been baked for another couple of minutes.
Carrot cake is any cake made with… carrots. I’ve made carrot cake with pineapple, carrot cake cookies and carrot cake granola but I’ve never combined carrot cake and cheesecake… until now! These carrot cake bars have a carrot cake base, cheesecake swirled with carrot jam in the middle, then carrot crumble on top.
After last years success with Simnel cake, I wanted to try something the same but different for Easter this year. Last year’s simnel cake had a biscuit/pie crust on the bottom and cake on top (with marzipan of course), but this version is more like a cake with streusel on top. Considering fruit cakes are usual heavy, this is a pretty dense cake – not too dense but not like an airy sponge cake.
I used a mix of raisins, dried apricots and cherries soaked in rum and spices overnight, but you can mix up the ratio if you prefer one fruit over another – just keep the total weight roughly the same.
The vernal equinox means dark, milk, white chocolate, or any combination of the three (the equinox is the point between the solstices, when the night lasts about as long as the day). These bitesized bars have an Oreo crust and swirls of cheesecake on top. The base is around 75% Oreos and 25% Belvita breakfast biscuits, but you can use most type of biscuits for a different flavour.
As this has a significant chocolate flavour, opt for good quality chocolate if you can – 35% cocoa solids and above is a good benchmark. Dr Oetker makes good baking chocolate without the insane price tag of some artisan brands.
Packed with peanut butter and chocolate, these brownie squares are light and not too sweet. Brownies can be a bit hit and miss – I’ve only had them come out well maybe half of the times I’ve tried them. These took the full 35 mins and were just about done – leaving them another 5-10 mins would be fine if you prefer them drier/firmer.
I’ve become somewhat of a connoisseur of peanut butter – I eat it every day and a tub usually lasts less than a week. Unless they say otherwise, most brands contain extra sugar and some kind of stabiliser (usually oil of some sort). Using a natural peanut butter makes a massive difference in both the texture and taste. I prefer Meridian because it’s made from nothing but peanuts and salt and although it has some chunks of peanuts, it’s still runny enough to spread well.
Did I say Snickers? I mean Snackers… similar to, but legally distinctive from a Snickers bar (sue me Mars). This ultimate replication chocolate bar as a shortbread base, layer of peanut-speckled marshmallow on top, caramel on top of that, then chocolate, peanut butter and more peanuts. It may sounds like a lot, but each layer is very thin, so the whole lot is no thicker than a regular chocolate bar.
A traditional Polish Easter/Christmas cake with chocolate, raisins and peanuts on a shortcrust base. I wanted to make this at Easter but with so many other recipes I didn’t get chance.