Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Daring Bakers January Challenge--Graham Crackers & Nanaimo Bars

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and

Nanaimo Bars are a classic Canadian dessert created in none other than Nanaimo, British Colombia. In case you were wondering, it’s pronounced Nah-nye-Moh. These bars have 3 layers: a base containing graham crackers, cocoa, coconut and nuts, a middle custard/butter cream frosting layer, and a topping of chocolate. They are extremely rich and available almost everywhere across the country.

You can find the full recipe on the daring kitchen website.

I was SO excited to see this posting!  Al is allergic to many things including eggs, dairy, wheat, yeast... which always makes baking allergen free a challenge. Not to mention I'm allergic to soy so that easy milk replacement is not so easy if we both want to eat it. I've been wanting to experiment with some alternative ingredients for a long time and this challenge (and Marika's food talk article "baking with alternative ingredients") was just the kick I needed! So, thank you thank you thank you to Lauren!

I made my graham crackers with the 3 flours that were listed in the recipe. The sweet rice four was actually the most difficult to find, but thanks to the tip of purchasing it at an Asian grocery store I was able to track it down. I then replaced the butter with coconut oil and the whole milk with coconut milk to make them dairy free. Next time I think I'll roll them out a little thinner, but even though they weren't that crispy they were delicious and most importantly Al likes them!! YEAH!

I then made the Nanaimo bars which were pretty good, I expected the center layer to be more custard-like and not so frosting-like but it was still good.

Then I made a second batch of Nanaimo bars but this time I made them completely allergen free. I replaced the egg with flax meal and water, the butter with coconut oil, and the heavy cream with coconut milk, and the semi-sweet chocolate with some dairy & soy free chocolate chips I found at the local health food store. It had a stronger coconut flavor but otherwise you couldn't really tell a difference.
Although I'm not a big fan of the Nanaimo bars I now have a delicious allergen free graham cracker recipe and some totally allergen-free baking experience under my belt--so again, THANK YOU Lauren for the great challenge!

1 comment:

Lauren said...

I'm am so happy for you! Thats a lot of restrictions, but you pulled through brilliantly! Simply fantastic job on my challenge =D.