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Nanaimo Bar Cheesecake

November 19, 2013

Time to interject a little more variety into the blog. I can’t promise how often such variety will take place, seeing as when I have any down time I’m either relaxing on the couch with A or sleeping (and that includes Molly’s nap times), but I’m doing to do my best to be a little less boring 🙂

When we were in Newfoundland, A came up with a brilliant idea: what if you took a Nanaimo bar and turned it into cheesecake?

I married a genius. Visions of selling the idea to Galen Weston Jr. (famed Canadian grocery store BILLIONAIRE and my resident crush…he’s adorable) danced through our heads.

Of course when we got home and I googled nanaimo bar cheesecake, a bajillion recipes turned up. Apparently he’s not the only genius out there. Ah well. He’s my genius 🙂

Still, none of the recipes adequately fit my idea of a traditional nanaimo bar, so I did a bit of research and did something I’ve never done before: I created my own recipe. Oh I had help, using elements from other recipes, but isn’t that what everyone does?

The end result wasn’t too bad. The base was perfect, capturing the coco-nutty chocolate-y crust I love about the original bar. For the cheesecake,  I combined the vanilla custard mix traditional Nanaimo bars use with some elements of a New York cheesecake. It was extremely tasty but I was hoping the custard flavour would pop through more. Perhaps less cream cheese next time? Overall though, it was a delicious treat and went over quite well with my family. There was a minor panic when I was taking the cake out of the oven and the pan came apart, dumping the cake down underneath the oven racks, but miraculously the only damage was a bit of a nick on the edge of the cake!

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Nanaimo Bar Cheesecake

Serves: a decadent and rich 6 but 12 slices is just right

Crust

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut or shredded coconut

1/3 cup finely chopped walnut halves

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup melted butter

1 egg, lightly beaten

Filling

Custard:

1/4 cup butter

2 tbsp custard powder

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups icing sugar

2 tbsp milk (approximately)

Cheesecake:

4 packages of cream cheese

3 tbsp cornstarch

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 large whole eggs

1 large egg yolk

Topping

4 oz semisweet chocolate

1 tbsp butter

1. For Crust: In a bowl, stir together graham crumbs, coconut, walnuts, cocoa powder and sugar. Add butter and egg, stirring until combined. Press into a springform cake pan and bake at 350 degrees F until firm, around 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

2. For custard portion of the cheesecake: In bowl, beat together the butter, custard powder and vanilla. Beat in the icing sugar alternately with milk. Add a tsp or more milk to thin out the mixture if needed. Set aside.

3. For cheesecake filling: Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add cornstarch and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time at a lower speed, scraping after each addition. Beat in the yolk. On low speed, add custard mixture. Spread this filling over cooled crust.

4. Bake the cheesecake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F. Reduce oven temperature to 225 degrees F and bake for 25 more minutes. Turn of the oven entirely but leave the cheesecake in for 1 hour, cracking the oven door after 30 minutes.

5. Remove from oven and let cool, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours before adding topping.

6. For topping: In heatproof bowl over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate with butter. Remove cheesecake from the springform cake pan. Spread topping over cheesecake, but not on the sides. Refrigerate until chocolate is almost set, about 30 minutes.

Slice and enjoy! (tip: before cutting the chocolate, score it with a knife. It’ll help it crack cleanly and won’t break into pieces)

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