Nanaimo bars

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Fun fact: Nanaimo bars originated in Nanaimo, Canada, hence the name. Another fun fact: these bars don't need baking so they're super easy to make, even the most inexperienced chef will create these successfully.

Ingredients

Bottom Layer

  • 1/2 cup (120g) unsalted vegan margarine
  • 1/4 cup (50g) white sugar
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (67g) applesauce
  • 1 1/4 cups vegan digestive or tea biscuits (about 10-12)
  • 1/2 cup (76g) finely chopped almonds
  • 1 cup (93g) shredded unsweetened coconut

Middle Layer

  • 1/2 cup (120g) unsalted vegan margarine
  • 2 tbsp and 2 tsp soy milk
  • 2 tbsp vegan custard powder
  • 2 cups (264g) icing sugar

Top Layer

  • 6 oz (170g) dark chocolate
  • 3 tbsp unsalted vegan margarine

Method

  1. Line a 9”x 9” baking pan with foil making sure to leave some hanging over the edge.
  2. To make the bottom layer, in a food processor blend the cookies until they are completely crushed. Pour into a large bowl along with the almonds and coconut.
  3. Melt the margarine, sugar and cocoa powder in a double boiler. Once melted stir into crumbs and add the applesauce. Mix well until everything is combined. Press into a prepared pan.
  4. To make the middle layer, cream margarine, soy milk, custard powder and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over the bottom layer.
  5. To make the top layer, melt the chocolate and margarine over low heat. Remove from heat and pour evenly over the middle layer. If necessary spread the chocolate smooth. Chill in the fridge.
  6. Gently lift the foil out of the pan, place on a cutting board and cut into bars.

Note: When cutting the bars, to avoid the chocolate from cracking, take out of the fridge for 20-25 minutes before cutting. Also, try cutting with a warm knife so it cuts through the chocolate easier.

Claire Gosse is the author of the vegan cookbook series Are You Sure That's Vegan?  Claire also runs VeganCooking.com