On my recent Canadian Rockies visit, I discovered the Nanaimo bar. This decadent treat may have begun in British Columbia, but like many travelers, is found in other parts of Canada. Though I had seen it along my travels, I didn’t know what it was and was hesitant about venturing forth, until, thanks to an article in an in-flight magazine, my mouth watered and the next time I saw one, I pounced.
I fell in love with the chocolate wafer crust, creamy vanilla filling and rich chocolate top. When I returned to the U.S., I consulted with my good friend, the blogger Chocofigbee (http://chocofigbee.com), who was kind enough to divulge her Secret Recipe. I collected the ingredients and followed the recipe to the C (C for chocolate). It was one of the rare times I didn’t deviate from a recipe.
Deviate a lot, that is.
I deviated just a little by adding more shredded coconut than called for to the middle section.
I waited patiently during the intervals.I couldn’t wait to try my concoction once it had set.
Verdict: the bottom was too crumbly, the top too firm. The middle, which had tasted creamy and vanilla-e when I licked the remaining bit from the bowl, didn’t taste like anything.
I panicked, worried that my pals at the potluck would neglect my creation.
I decided to turn my my bars into pudding cake, which looked more like pudding. I poured coconut almond milk drink into a saucepan, added all my bars, plus agar agar. Agar agar, according to modernistcookingmadeeasy.com, “is a gelling agent extracted from red algae. It is commonly used to stabilize foams and to thicken or gel liquids. It is relatively easy to work with and a good starting point for modernist cooking.”
Or post-modern, if you’re Chef E.
I then said my magic incantation: Mush kush, mush kush, stir stir stir.
I stirred as I heated it over a medium flame. I poured it into a pan and baked it at 350 for ten minutes, put it in the fridge for ten more minutes. It got rave reviews at the potluck.