Nanaimo bars, slices of delicious chocolate and custard cake which are a cult snack in Canada, are the perfect no-fuss treat for kids and packed lunches. Even better, they require no baking – simple!
- 125g (4oz) butter
- 2 level tbsp golden caster sugar
- 2 level tbsp cocoa
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 300g (10oz) digestive biscuits, crumbed
- 60g (2oz) desiccated coconut
- For the custard filling
- 60g (2oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tbsp custard powder
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 250g (8oz) icing sugar
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- For the topping
- 150g dark chocolate
- 30g (1oz) butter
- 4 tbsp strong black coffee
- 18 x 27cm (7 x 11in) traybake tin, lined with Bakewell paper
To make the base: Put the butter, sugar and cocoa in a small pan over a low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Take off the heat and add the egg, vanilla essence, crumbs and coconut. Press mixture into the tin and level the surface. Chill for at least 30 mins.
To make the filling: Cream the butter until pale and fluffy. Whisk in the custard powder and vanilla, then the icing sugar and lemon juice. Spread this over the biscuit base and chill for 1-2 hours until set firm.
To make the topping: Melt the chocolate with the butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Take off the heat and whisk in the coffee until you get a smooth icing. Spread it over the filling. Leave until set. Cut into 3cm (1¼in) wide bars.
Top tip for making Nanaimo bars
Once the topping is on, chill the cake out of the fridge, otherwise the chocolate will lose its gloss.