Remember us? No? Of course you do! We're that country that sits just north of you. Remember when you were 19 and you crossed our border to get a twelve back of Coors? How about the time you went to Niagara Falls? Oh! I know what will jog your memory!
Of course. Now you remember us. Well, we've got to tell you something - I know you guys are pretty excited this week for July 4th. Yes, we know you beat the crap out of the Brits a while back. We just wanted you to know this week is sorta special for us too. Especially today. July 1st is our birthday. No, we didn't have a war for independence - all we did was ask nicely and sign a few papers. I know. It's not that exciting. But it's a pretty big deal for us.
Since today is Canada Day, we wanted to share a bit of our culture with our neighbours to the south. A bit of tasty culture. You know about our maple syrup and our poutine, but you may not have heard of our best kept secret. A sweet dessert that has our entire west coast (and a bit of yours) drooling. It's called the Nanaimo Bar.
Yes, it may not seem like much - but the taste. You bite into one of these puppies, and you'll be singing O Canada! even if you don't know the words. Our special chocolate graham coconut cake was specially developed to remind you of that famous bar, while the vanilla custard filling and bittersweet chocolate ganache comes straight from the original recipe.
So, America, we know you may be getting ready for your own big bash in a couple days, but maybe take some time to bake Nanaimo Bar Cupcakes and celebrate the great Land of the North. No, not Russia. Us. Canada! Jeez, do we have to bring up Sydney Crosby again?
Nanaimo Bar Cupcakes
Makes about 18 cupcakes
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk + 1/4 cup yogurt
1 cup shredded coconut
1) Heat your oven to 350C. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, graham, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2) In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until they're completely incorporated. Add and mix in the vanilla. Slowly incorporate the melted chocolate chips (make sure they're cooled to at least room temperature first).
3) Add the flour mixture and the milk/yogurt mixture into your batter, alternating between the two. When your batter is just about mixed (do not overmix!) add the coconut. Spoon batter into cupcake liners and bake 20-25 minutes, or when your cake tester comes out clean. Leave out to cool while you make the filling.
Vanilla Custard Filling
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 Tablespoons custard powder (we use Bird's Custard)
4 Tablespoons milk
2 cup icing sugar
1)Mix butter, custard powder, and milk together in a medium bowl with an electric mixer. Slowly incorporate the icing sugar until fully mixed
2)Core holes into your cooled cupcakes, about an inch and a half around and at least half way in. Carefully spoon the custard filling into the holes. Don't worry if you get custard on the top of the cupcake, it will be covered by ganache later. Place filled cupcakes in the fridge to cool as you make your ganache.
Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache
1/4 cup butter
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1) Over a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate until smooth and shiny. Carefully spoon over your cooled and filled cupcakes, slowly covering the entire top. Place in fridge for at least an hour to cool down completely.
happy canada day, eh?