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Old 10-28-2008, 08:44 AM   #1
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Help with Nanimo Bars

It's coming up on Holiday season, and I'd like to make these......

Wondering about make subsitutions in this recipe I found on another site.........

I know splenda and Chocolate don't really mix.......

I have Erythol, DiabetiSweet (Regular and Brown Sugar flavors) Splenda, and a very small amount of Stevia powder.

And Does anyone know if the ThickenThin Not Sugar would be Required for the 2nd Layer? I have the NotStarch, but I'm assuming it's not going to work the same............


Any help / Suggestions would be appreciated.


Crystal’s “You Won’t Believe They’re Low Carb” Nanaimo Bars
============================================
Just like the real thing, non low carbers cannot tell the difference!!!

(***Warning these are awesome but very addictive - I’d suggest you make them when others are around to help you eat them and only make them once a year (usually at Christmas)***)

Ingredients (Carbs per Netzer or Ingredient Packaging)

Bottom:
1 square Bakers unsweetened chocolate (9)
2 Tablespoons butter (0)
2 Tablespoons cream (2)
1/4 cup cocoa (4)
3/4 cup whey protein powder (unflavored) (0)
1 cup unsweetened coconut (12)
8 packets Splenda (8)
Davinci’s or other Sugar Free chocolate syrup (0)

Middle:
2 sticks unsalted butter (0)
1 ½ cups Splenda granular (36)
1 package Vanilla Sugar Free Pudding Mix (24)
2 Tablespoons Davinci’s Irish Cream SF Syrup (could also use Vanilla or English Toffee SF Syrup) (0)
3 Tablespoons NotSugar (by Expert Foods) (13 - but also 13 grams of insoluble fiber)

Top:
2 squares Bakers unsweetened chocolate (18)
1 Ross Dark Chocolate Bar (1) (could substitute 1 more square of unsweetened chocolate (9))
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (0)
8 Packets Splenda (8)

Directions

Bottom:
Melt chocolate, butter and cream together in microwave. Add cocoa, whey protein powder, coconut and splenda and mix well. At this point the mix is fairly crumbly. Then add SF chocolate syrup 1 Tablespoon at a time until the mixture just comes together. Press evenly into a greased 9" square pan and chill.

Middle:
Cream together butter, splenda, vanilla SF pudding, Irish Cream or other SF syrup and NotSugar. Beat until creamy and spread over chilled base. Refrigerate till hardened.

Top:
Melt chocolate, butter and splenda together in microwave. Pour over chilled middle layer and tilt pan back and forth to spread evenly . Refrigerate for about 20 minutes until chocolate layer just starts to harden and score into 36 x 1 ½ “ pieces. When totally hard cut into 1 ½" square bars.

Carb count (using Ross Dark Chocolate Bar as 1 carb and subtracting the fiber in the NotSugar) is 3.39 carbs per piece (122 for the whole recipe).

The usual flavor variations can easily be made (just recalculate the carbs as needed):

Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars: substitute 2 or more tablespoons of peanut butter (depending on your taste) for equal amounts of butter in the middle layer .

Mint Nanaimo Bars: Substitute Creme de Menthe SF Syrup or some mint extract for the Irish Cream Sugar Free Syrup and add some green food coloring to the middle layer.

Irish Cream Nanaimo Bars: Possibly use White Chocolate SF pudding instead of vanilla and add more Irish Cream SF syrup (to taste) in the middle layer.

Raspberry Nanaimo Bars: Substitute Raspberry SF Syrup for Irish Cream Syrup in middle layer. (You could also do this with Cherry SF Syrup (Cherry Nanaimo Bars), Kaluha Caffe SF Syrup (Mocha Nanaimo Bars), Pina Colada SF Syrup (Pina Colada Nanaimo Bars) or any number of endless flavor combinations by using different flavors of SF Syrups)
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Old 10-28-2008, 09:46 AM   #2
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I'd go ahead and do a test half-batch pretty much as written, except subbing your sweetener choices for the Splenda equivalents. Each packet of Splenda is equivalent to 2 Tsp of sugar/sweetness, as you probably know.

As for the not/Sugar, it's a stabilizer/thickener, and you probably do need some of that for the middle layer, looking at the other ingredients. For a "wet" non-bready application, you can use the not/Starch, but I'd use only half the amount, and be sure to mix it in with your sweeteners and other dry stuff before stirring into the rest of the ingredients.

For the SF Syrups, if you don't have them, sub the equivalent amount of liquid and sweetener (the DaVinci is 1/3rd sweeter by volume, so 3/4C DVG is ~equal to 1C sweetness).

Have fun.
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:48 PM   #3
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I found this recipe a few years ago and have made them every Christmas since. They are great!!!! Just as good as the high carb ones I made before. There is no problem with the Splenda and chocolate. Something is needed in the middle layer to thicken it up enough and since I only had NotStarch I used it and it worked fine. Never got 36 squares though, usually cut in 18. Enjoy.
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Old 10-29-2008, 02:16 PM   #4
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Excellent news.

I was hoping a fellow canuck had tried the recipe.

So I'll make them as is, simple subbing the not sugar with the Not Starch instead.
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Old 10-29-2008, 03:52 PM   #5
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Please try and post...these look so good and I want to do them for Christmas this year..

HUGS!
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Old 10-29-2008, 04:05 PM   #6
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There is a scene in "A Mighty Wind" (one of my favorite movies) where a character (Catherine O'Hara)talks about her idea of happines would be a tray of Nanaimo bars, and reading in bed. (or something like that)

I had no idea what she was talking about.



Lot's of ad-libbing in that movie. She's a Canadian, I think. Now, it makes sense!

Love learning something new!

Although, I could have just looked it up,since I'm a Google Queen, but I couldn't figure out what she was saying exactly or how to spell it!

It actually sounded slightly Asian to me, as a matter of fact!

These sound really yummy!
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:26 AM   #7
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I am making these fairly soon and this is what I am changing for this recipe..(having learned alot from Lauren over at Healthy Indulgences) so that they taste really good..
Im going to switch the bakers choc for 85% Lindt bar, switch out all the splenda with a mixture of Erythritol, stevia and possibly a bit of Diabetisweet, and Im sure Not Starch and Not Sugar are interchangeable when you only need a small amount..

I have both but prefer the Not/Sugar so Ill use that and see how it goes. Although the Ross bars are incredibly good, they dont sit well with my tummy so I found some unsweetened milk choc at my health food store and made my own low carb sweetened choc with no tummy issues so I might use that for the milk choc part.

One other thing is that I always under sweeten my recipes as I find them too sweet if following the directions..you can always add a bit more but its too hard to take that over sweetness away.

And btw, from a fellow Canadian!
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Old 11-01-2008, 08:38 PM   #8
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I had no idea what Nanaimo bars were either NancyElle. I still have no idea how to pronounce it.

I don't guess I'll be making them, as they call for sf pudding mix, and all I can get is made with aspertame. I won't buy it! And don't know what I could replace that with, if anything.

I would have to use the unsweetned chocolate, as I can't afford the sugar in the 85% Lindt bar. I sure do wish I could. My DH can, but I can't.
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:19 PM   #9
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These sound really yummy! Never heard of 'em, but the original recipe looks decadent. What exactly does the middle layer taste like? Like a buttercream frosting?
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Old 11-02-2008, 07:47 AM   #10
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The high carb version middle layer looks like a buttercream/custard type icing. Below are the ingredients. Wonder if a cooked custard layer would work or if it would be too eggy? DH can't stand custards, but he loves pannacotta. I think pannacotta would hold up extremely well as the middle layer. Hmm, I may need to play around with these! The bottom layer traditionally uses graham cracker crumbs, finely chopped almonds, and coconut. These have potential!

I won't use the sugar free puddings either, too carby and sweetened with AS (won't use that stuff).

Traditional High Carb Middle Layer:
½ cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar

Last edited by BikerAng; 11-02-2008 at 07:48 AM..
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Old 11-02-2008, 07:59 AM   #11
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The filling is like buttercream frosting. I used to make a very similar recipe many years ago before I'd ever heard of Nanaimo bars. I think it was from an old Betty Crocker cookbook. I later tweaked the recipe to combine the best of that recipe with a more traditional Nanaimo bar recipe and here's what they look like:



I attempted to come up with a low carb version once but it turned out so bad that the recipe never got posted on my site. I think that the carbs came out a bit high too because of the pudding mix. I also couldn't figure out how to get the right consistency for the filling without using powdered sugar and the crust didn't seem quite right without graham cracker crumbs in it.
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Old 11-03-2008, 02:38 PM   #12
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Phonetically these would be pronounced..Na-Ny-Mo

As for the graham crackers that are missing in the crust, Im going to make a batch of almond thins and crush them up..they will be wonderful or Kevins are very good too. (his might just be a bit higher for the carbs.) And if there is no getting around the pudding issue, then I will cut them smaller as Im sure they will still be very rich.

I dont think a cooked type of custard would work as its more of an icingish layer in between normally but Im sure someone will come up with something..wheres Lauren when we need her?
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:40 PM   #13
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Wonder if Kittencal's Frosting Recipe #89207 would work? I've never had a high carb version of these so I'm not sure what they even taste like.
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Old 11-03-2008, 05:22 PM   #14
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Wonder if Kittencal's Frosting Recipe #89207 would work? I've never had a high carb version of these so I'm not sure what they even taste like.
It's just as well. Those things are EVIL. My friend has renamed the recipe "Pure Evil Bars".
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Old 11-03-2008, 05:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
Phonetically these would be pronounced..Na-Ny-Mo

As for the graham crackers that are missing in the crust, Im going to make a batch of almond thins and crush them up..they will be wonderful or Kevins are very good too. (his might just be a bit higher for the carbs.) And if there is no getting around the pudding issue, then I will cut them smaller as Im sure they will still be very rich.

I dont think a cooked type of custard would work as its more of an icingish layer in between normally but Im sure someone will come up with something..wheres Lauren when we need her?
*waves*

Hi Mallory! You might try just tweaking the standard high carb recipe subbing 1/2 the amount of erythritol for the powdered sugar, adding a bit of stevia (or whatever high intensity sweetener you like) to punch up the sweetness, and using real cornstarch (7g carbs per tablespoon... not bad!) or xanthan gum (go easy on it) to thicken the buttercream filling. Adding 1/4-1/2 cup of ricotta might help to replace some of the sugar in the buttercream as well without changing the flavor.

The topping could just be a standard ganache. I use a chocolate topping on my snack bars (see blog ) that sounds a lot like this one.

The crust could be your favorite LC cookie recipe crumbled up, or a standard almond flour/butter crust with a tablespoon of honey and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon for that graham cracker flavor (along with the cocoa powder, chopped nuts, and coconut called for).

Definitely going to give these a shot for some nice holiday cookies! Have you ever seen any with colored filling? These sound so yummy! Thanks for sharing these Canadian delights, Eryke.
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Old 11-03-2008, 06:32 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by LindaSue View Post
It's just as well. Those things are EVIL. My friend has renamed the recipe "Pure Evil Bars".
LOL! I'll probably never try to make them, I only do desserts occasionally and I have my favorites. Haven't been eating any dessert stuff lately because it tends to stall me. I'm sure these (LC version) would probably do the same.
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Old 11-03-2008, 06:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaSue View Post
It's just as well. Those things are EVIL. My friend has renamed the recipe "Pure Evil Bars".
These are my absolute favourite!!
They are to.die.for. and very common at bakeries here.

If there is a consensus on how to make this recipe lower in carbs- I am in!
That would be a Christmas present in and of itself to me!!!
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Old 11-03-2008, 06:57 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jacksmixedtape View Post
*waves*

Hi Mallory! You might try just tweaking the standard high carb recipe subbing 1/2 the amount of erythritol for the powdered sugar, adding a bit of stevia (or whatever high intensity sweetener you like) to punch up the sweetness, and using real cornstarch (7g carbs per tablespoon... not bad!) or xanthan gum (go easy on it) to thicken the buttercream filling. Adding 1/4-1/2 cup of ricotta might help to replace some of the sugar in the buttercream as well without changing the flavor.

The topping could just be a standard ganache. I use a chocolate topping on my snack bars (see blog ) that sounds a lot like this one.

The crust could be your favorite LC cookie recipe crumbled up, or a standard almond flour/butter crust with a tablespoon of honey and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon for that graham cracker flavor (along with the cocoa powder, chopped nuts, and coconut called for).

Definitely going to give these a shot for some nice holiday cookies! Have you ever seen any with colored filling? These sound so yummy! Thanks for sharing these Canadian delights, Eryke.
Lauren!

I know ALL about your chocolate topping on your snack bars..I made two batches of them, one with mostly nuts ala your pepitas bars and one with Kevins dried cranberries thrown in..yummE!

Your sustitutions sound perfect and very doable. As for the changing the flavour of the filling, we can also buy or make them with a peanut butter, cherry or mint filling (food coloring making it green and very festive with the red cherry ones). I have also seen them with something drizzled through the chocolate topping (peanute butter I assume) and that looks very pretty.

Oh the possibilites...
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Old 11-09-2008, 04:08 PM   #19
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Hiya, y'all.

Lauren (and LindaSue, too) is abso right, the classic Nanaimo (actually a small city just a hour's drive north-east of where I live ) Bar has got, literally, a buttercream filling. The classic uses Bird's custard powder (cornstarch, vanillin, FDC yellow), fine powdered sugar and butter to make the buttercream. I'm pretty sure I've seen the equivalent on WA state shelves, called Horne's Custard Powder. I'd just use butter, vanilla, powdered E and not fret over the starch, it's not enough to really make that much difference, but if desired, try a little Carbalose or Resistant Starch. Better yet, try one of Kevin's Buttercream recipes.

Ganache (melted chocolate, cream optional, butter, sweeteners of choice) is perfect for the topping. Crumbled (lc) cookie, coconut, cocoa, etc., just as Lauren described, is perfect for the bottom crust.

These should always be served chilled, just as the classic should be, or the topping starts to melt.

Yes, it's true, one sees variations up here, but none of them are the true Nanaimo (Nah-Ny-Moe, even accent on each syllable) Bar. Though they are yummy. Common variations are Peanut Butter, Mint, Strawberry.

BTW, if you think Nanaimo looks tuff to pronounce, well, try Esquimalt or Tsouk'e! All rooted in Pacific Northwest First Nations, probably Salish, languages.


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Old 11-09-2008, 04:10 PM   #20
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Would you believe it, there's a pic and information about the darn thing in Wikipedia:
Nanaimo bar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old 11-09-2008, 04:16 PM   #21
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Genuine article, from a City of Nanaimo website:
Quote:
In 1986, Nanaimo Mayor Graeme Roberts, in conjunction with Harbour Park Mall, initiated a contest to find the ultimate Nanaimo Bar Recipe. During the four-week long contest, almost 100 different variations of the famous confectionery were submitted. The winner: Joyce Hardcastle.




Nanaimo Bar Recipe

Bottom Layer
½ cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
¼ cup sugar
5 tbsp. cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
½ c. finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut

Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8" x 8" pan.

Second Layer
½ cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar

Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

Third Layer
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter overlow heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.
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Old 11-09-2008, 05:35 PM   #22
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Have you tried to LC these, Jude? Love to hear about your masterful tinkering!

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Old 11-10-2008, 04:14 AM   #23
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Thanks for the links,Jude. Fascinating reading.
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Old 11-17-2008, 08:52 PM   #24
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Have you tried to LC these, Jude? Love to hear about your masterful tinkering!
Oh, piffle!

No need, you've pretty much got it nailed in your thinking.

I'd probably use a little resistant starch and really good vanilla extract, along with powdered E in the filling (and probably won't need as much). Or just be lazy and make Kevin's frosting recipe...

Maybe switch out the graham crackers for some ground toasted hazelnuts (they just have that extra bit of flavour) or pecans and a hint of cinnamon in the base.

The rest is pretty straight up, as you've noticed! We'd do it almost the same, I think...
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:18 AM   #25
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The resistant starch (or maybe corn or tapioca starch?) might help the ricotta filling set up. I made a test batch (including butter, erythritol, and vanilla) and the filling was a bit soft. It was sure tasty though!

How do you use cornstarch in such a manner, Jude? Do you have to cook it?

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Old 11-25-2008, 11:52 PM   #26
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Quote:
The resistant starch (or maybe corn or tapioca starch?) might help the ricotta filling set up. I made a test batch (including butter, erythritol, and vanilla) and the filling was a bit soft. It was sure tasty though!

How do you use cornstarch in such a manner, Jude? Do you have to cook it?
Resistant starch doesn't thicken when you cook it (or at least it doesn't for me...). In the traditional filling:
Quote:
Second Layer
½ cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar
...there's not really any cooking going on, it's more of a colour and flavour additive (the vanillin and colour in the custard powder) and a little bit of a stabilizer, no cooking/thickening/starchy gelatinizing going on.

I can't imagine you would see much happening with ricotta and resistant starch. Dunno, but the traditional Nanaimo Bar is so very much "buttercream"/spreadable icing (like canned, almost, in texture, though I shudder at the thought of "canned icing" ) in the middle, that I just can't visualize any kind of ricotta type replacement, in my little miniature brain kitchen! What else did you have in the ricotta experiment?




Is that what you were doing, trying to make
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:43 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by theislandgirl View Post
Resistant starch doesn't thicken when you cook it (or at least it doesn't for me...). In the traditional filling:

...there's not really any cooking going on, it's more of a colour and flavour additive (the vanillin and colour in the custard powder) and a little bit of a stabilizer, no cooking/thickening/starchy gelatinizing going on.

I can't imagine you would see much happening with ricotta and resistant starch. Dunno, but the traditional Nanaimo Bar is so very much "buttercream"/spreadable icing (like canned, almost, in texture, though I shudder at the thought of "canned icing" ) in the middle, that I just can't visualize any kind of ricotta type replacement, in my little miniature brain kitchen! What else did you have in the ricotta experiment?




Is that what you were doing, trying to make
I used ricotta as part of the powdered sugar component. So my experimental filling was ricotta, butter, powdered E, stevia, and a touch of vanilla extract processed until smooth in a food processor. It was tasty, but needs something to make it more stiff and less creamy (it spreads out like an ice cream sandwich when you bite into it). Xanthan would just make it gummy. Buttercream without ricotta seems to be gritty from the E. With ricotta it's very smooth, but needs to be more firm. Thoughts? What's your recipe for buttercream frosting, Jude?
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Old 12-01-2008, 11:02 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by jacksmixedtape View Post
I used ricotta as part of the powdered sugar component. So my experimental filling was ricotta, butter, powdered E, stevia, and a touch of vanilla extract processed until smooth in a food processor. It was tasty, but needs something to make it more stiff and less creamy (it spreads out like an ice cream sandwich when you bite into it). Xanthan would just make it gummy. Buttercream without ricotta seems to be gritty from the E. With ricotta it's very smooth, but needs to be more firm. Thoughts? What's your recipe for buttercream frosting, Jude?

Hmmmm, I think the trick to getting rid of the grit with the powdered E is to make sure it is dissolved BEFORE adding/beating in to the butter (a distinct difference between E and sugar, powdered or not, is that E will not dissolve in fat). BTW, a room temp Nanaimo Bar is squishy! Trust me on this...

If you can somehow dissolve the E in the vanilla and perhaps a lesser amount of the ricotta THEN process the lot with butter, that might help. A more rigid icing needs something with the kind of structure you get with sugar, and its candymaking properties...do you use any other *ols or pdx? I didn't think so, but you might get some structure out of Xylitol, which is a lot less offensive (and natural source, too) than say Maltitol.

In truffles, for example, it's the cocoa butter (a saturated and very solid fat, especially when chilled) and some of the emulsifying effect of the cocoa solids that gives it such structure. Perhaps some (preferably) cocoa butter replacing some of the dairy butter; coconut oil solidifies at a higher temp than dairy butter as well; then there's (gently) clarified butter, with the water and milk solids driven out, it's much more solid and stable, and a kitchen staple! That's the direction I'd go in.

My recipe for buttercream? Trying to remember....! it's been a long time, but I'm pretty sure my go-to icing/frosting is a butter/cream cheese/sweeteners mix, at least half butter. Then CHILL.

ps: some of the photos are misleading...a thinner layer of the buttery creamy vanilla-y centre will work very well, as long as it's buttery enough and creamy enough...for my NBs, the bottom and centre are thinner than in the photos you've seen thus far; hence, a lot less squishyness!

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