Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Daring Bakers in Canada

The Olympics this winter are in Canada. So, in honor of that 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 had heard of these before but wasn't really sure what they were.  I really liked the picture and was pretty excited at the possibilities.

 I decided that I would try to make the gluten free version of the graham crackers.  HOWEVER, I do not think I succeeded because the gluten free flours (outside of rice flour which I love) were too pricey so I got oat flour, which I think has gluten...oh, well.  At least I didn't use all-purpose flour!  The graham crackers were actually my favorite part!

I did have a bit of trouble getting them off the board to the baking sheet...the first time.  Then I used more flour and it worked better!  Yum!  On to the actual bars.  The filling is SO SWEET!  It's like icing...which is my favorite part of cake, usually.  I honestly didn't care for the texture of the coconut and nuts together, and the graham crackers were lost in the mixture...sadly!

Overall, I liked the bars but some of the elements I would try to change if I did them again.  Check out more bars here

For Gluten-Free Graham Wafers
1 cup (138 g) (4.9 ounces) Sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour)
3/4 cup (100 g) (3.5 ounces) Tapioca Starch/Flour
1/2 cup (65 g) (2.3 ounces) Sorghum Flour
1 cup (200 g) (7.1 ounces) Dark Brown Sugar, Lightly packed
1 teaspoon (5 mL) Baking soda
3/4 teaspoon (4 mL ) Kosher Salt
7 tablespoons (100 g) (3 ½ ounces) Unsalted Butter (Cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen)
1/3 cup (80 mL) Honey, Mild-flavoured such as clover.
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Whole Milk
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Pure Vanilla Extract

1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. If making by hand, combine aforementioned dry ingredients with a whisk, then cut in butter until you have a coarse meal. No chunks of butter should be visible.
2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.
3. Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with sweet rice flour and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.
4. Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of sweet rice flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be quite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place wafers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.
5. Adjust the rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
6. Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more sweet rice flour and roll out the dough to get a couple more wafers.
7. Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in two or more rows.
8. Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Might take less, and the starting location of each sheet may determine its required time. The ones that started on the bottom browned faster.
9. When cooled completely, place enough wafers in food processor to make 1 ¼ cups (300 mL) of crumbs. Another way to do this is to place in a large ziplock bag, force all air out and smash with a rolling pin until wafers are crumbs.

Nanaimo Bars

For Nanaimo Bars — Bottom Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup (50 g) (1.8 ounces) Granulated Sugar
5 tablespoons (75 mL) Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) (160 g) (5.6 ounces) Gluten Free Graham Wafer Crumbs (See previous recipe)
1/2 cup (55 g) (1.9 ounces) Almonds (Any type, Finely chopped)
1 cup (130 g) (4.5 ounces) Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)

For Nanaimo Bars — Middle Layer
1/2 cup (115 g) (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons (40 mL) Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Vanilla Custard Powder (Such as Bird’s. Vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.)
2 cups (254 g) (8.9 ounces) Icing Sugar

For Nanaimo Bars — Top Layer
4 ounces (115 g) Semi-sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons (28 g) (1 ounce) Unsalted Butter

1. For bottom Layer: Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.
2. For Middle Layer: Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.
3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.


The JR said...

They look good. Sounds like a lot of work making your own graham crackers.

The middle layer makes my mouth water.

Jaime said...

great job. i enjoyed these quite a bit, as did my hubby's intern-mates :)

Cate O'Malley said...

such a long recipe, kudos to you! they look delish!

Lisa said...

Claire, they look yummy and LOL@ at least I didn't use AP flour..too cute!

Mary said...

The graham crackers were my favourite part too! But I used all-purpose flour, shame on me:( Glad you liked them!

Laurel said...

I think all Daring Bakers agree...BEST GRAHAM CRACKERS EVER!! :)
Fun challenge, wasn't it? I'm with you on trying out new flavors next time...

Anonymous said...

Loved, loved, LOVED the graham crackers, too! Your bars look fantastic!

Jen Rose said...

I agree that the graham crackers got lost in the mix of the Nanaimo Bars, and that the graham crackers were the best part of the challenge! I think if I was to make the Nanaimo Bars again, I would just use store bought, and save the homemade graham crackers to be a star on their own!

linda said...

Wonderful looking bars!
I thought that oats are naturally free of gluten BUT the fields are usually 'contaminated' with some wheat making it very difficult to get an gluten free end result.
And yes those graham crackers are soooo good!

Chou said...

Oooh, I like the thought of using oat flour. I put oats in my bottom layer, and they were fabulous!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Nice bars! Very well done!



Jenny Tan said...

Claire, well done on the challenge! If you're interested in the gluten free version for the crackers, Asian grocery stores usually carry the glutinous rice flour and Tapioca flour for a MUCH cheaper price. And I also found out that you can substitute the sorghum flour with rice flour ( NOT glutinous rice flour, can also be found in the Asian grocers).

Emily said...

I've always wanted to try these! They look great!

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