Last night I finished making my Graham Crackers and undertook the construction of the infamous Nanaimo bars. The graham cracker dough was quite unlike anything that I have worked with before. It was very soft but with a crumbly yet sticky tecture. Rather bizarre. So rolling out the dough was an interesting operation, and as I did not have hours to do it and make them all pretty and perfect, I just rolled and cut rather haphazardly. The ones for the bars would have to be blended into crumbs anyway so who really cares about appearance? So after being rolled, cut, chilled and then baked for 25 minutes I had Graham Crackers. rather brittle and with a taste that seemed oddly familiar but I could not quite put my finger on what it was that it reminded me of.
Once the crackers had cooled I blended up the ugliest of the lot and made the rest of the bars – which was not hard but a lot of work really. Butter, sugar and cocoa powder were melted down to be mixed with the cracker crumbs, coconut and almonds for the base which was pressed into a tin. Then the icing-like middle layer was made up from icing sugar, butter and custard powder then spread over the cracker-base. Then chocolate and butter were melted down and poured over the custardy icing layer and the tin went into the fridge to chill until firm. Once sifficiently chilled I managed to remove the slab from the tin without dessimating the chocolate layer too much and then cut it into 4cm x 4cm squares. They are very, very sweet so bigger pieces may induce a sugar-coma in the unsuspecting consumer. I do find it rather a challenge to cut up any bar/square confectionary that is covered in a layer of chocolate. It is not easy to cut it up without cracking the chocolate into a broken and very messy looking surface. A far cry from the smooth clean-edged perfection that I can only hope to achieve. I did attempt to cut it with a hot knife this time to see if it helped, and to a certain extent it did although the chocolate melted a bit too much in some parts and smeared down the nice, clean sides. It is all a learning curve and maybe next time I’ll be able to perfect the technique and end up with crisp, clean edges. This time I did have a couple that looked nice from a certain angle so one of them was my model for the photo. They do not all look like this, believe me.
So this weekend I was going to attmept my Tiramisu but we are off to Birmingham tonight to see some friends, so tonight I am making a quick pizza before we hit the road, and then the rest of the weekend I will have to take as it comes. I like surprises so that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Until next time, happy cooking