Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Daring Baker's Challenge: Gluten-Free Graham Crackers and Nanaimo Bars



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 www.nanaimo.ca.
This month I was very happy to bake something for Silvia my celiac dear friend.
We searched Roma and the net to find the flours needed for the challenge but there is no way to find them in Italy so I used a prepared mix to make the Crackers which were delicious for everybody.
I was very dubious about the filling for the bars because I don't like frostings and everybody was commenting on how sweet this was going to be, so after postponing the problem I decided to make a cheese cake filling and an Avocado Orange cheesecake filling ! I used semisweet chocolate for the topping because the middle layer wasn't very sweet.
I'm very happy Lauren chose this challenge and I'm sure we'll be baking the crackers very often !!

RECIPE

For Gluten-Free Graham Wafers
Ingredients
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

Directions:
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
Ingredients:

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

Directions:
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.

For the cheesecake I mixed 75 gr creamcheese with 150 gr sourcream, the juice of two oranges, the zest of one orange an avocado and 1 TBS agar agar dissolved and cooked for 1 minute in the oj. (I would increase the agar agar next time) two yolks and two beaten egg-whites with 3 TBS sugar.

15 comments:

Valerina said...

Natalia, an avocado orange cheesecake filling! That's brilliant, I'm jealous because I really want to know what how delicious that must be. :) Bravo!

Elra said...

Wonderful job Natalia, I felt the same way, so I half the recipe for the filling, and also used lemon juice instead of cream.

Malin said...

Avocado Orange cheesecake filling? That must be, by far, the most creative db-entry this month. It sounds delicious :D

Mary said...

They look beautiful, and your filling is SO creative! I tried to make mine less sweet too. Nicely done!

Sara said...

that sounds delicious! i love nanaimo bars.

Christy said...

I'm so happy that you did the avocado filling too!! And here I was worried that my choice was going to be too strange!

Never tried avocado and orange before though---is it a common combination in Rome? Knowing avocado, I'm sure it's really good!

Marcellina said...

Wow, avocado and orange cheese cake filling? Sounds amazing! We have a huge avocado tree and I'm always wanting new things to do with the mountains of avocados we have - this could be one!

Faery said...

Wow I love the filling you chose, I have an avocado tree but never thought of sweet preparations using avocado, great idea.

Jill @ Jillicious Discoveries said...

I love this idea of an avocado orange cheesecake filling--so unique and it sounds delicious! :)

The Blonde Duck said...

They look great!

Ivy said...

Natalia these sound amazing. I've always combined avocado with something savory and this sounds so creative.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Wow, what a wild take on Nanaimo bars! I am Canadian so have eaten my share of them.. and generally find them quite sweet. I love your less sweet version.

Isabelle said...

Wow! I love your avocado orange cheesecake! You are very creative. Bravo!

Isabelle said...

Wow! I love your avocado orange cheesecake! You are very creative. Bravo!

linda said...

Love the filling you used, how very unusual but delicious sounding!