Neil was born in Canada. Although he moved to the states while he was still young and doesn’t remember living there, it’s still neat that he COULD be Canadian, eh? Just like Neil, this dessert was born in Canada. It is originally from the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia. This bar is relatively simple to make, but the rich chocolate flavor is so deep it will take your breath away. If you don’t like coconut or chopped nuts in your desserts (like Neil), just sub more graham cracker crumbs to give the bottom layer additional texture. These elegant bars are great to make for your friends, co-workers, and favorite food bloggers (that’s right- if you make these, we’d be happy to sample your version…) Oh, and sorry for posting this during Lent.
Bottom Layer Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or almonds (optional)
1 cup unsweetened coconut (optional)
Bottom Layer Preparation:
Melt butter, sugar, and cocoa powder in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat. Once well combined but not too hot, whisk in egg. Continue to whisk until mixture is thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in nuts and coconut. Finally, add the graham cracker crumbs about 1/2 cup at a time. Add enough so that the mixture sticks well together but is still moist. Remember, if you don’t add the coconut and nuts, just add more graham cracker crumbs. Press mixture evenly into an 8″x 8″ pan lined with wax paper. Chill for 1 hour.
Second Layer Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups powdered sugar
Second Layer Preparation:
Beat all ingredients using a stand mixer or hand mixer until light and creamy. Spread evenly over the chocolate layer (we recommend using an offset spatula) and chill for another hour.
Third Layer Ingredients:
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Third Layer Preparation:
Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat. Add the chocolate and stir continuously until smooth. Remove from heat. Pour cooled chocolate atop the second layer and distribute evenly with an offset spatula. Chill for about 45 minutes.
Slice into 2″ bars when chocolate has set. Store in refrigerator. Makes 32 bars.