A friend at work had a birthday (Kerry from the blog Zombies vs Cupcakes) this week so I knew I wanted to make something fancy schmancy for her. I asked her what she wanted and she said something Nanaimo Bar-ish. She'd had our Nanaimo Bar Cheesecake and Nanaimo Bar Whoopie Pies in the past and really enjoyed the Nanaimo Bar flavors.
Anyway, I was inspired to try something new. I tried to find a recipe online for Nanaimo bar ice cream but there is nothing out there. Capital N nothing.
I ended up inventing my own recipe and it actually exceeded my expectations. It was very Nanaimo bar-y.
A rich custard ice cream, chocolate-coconut-pecan-graham cracker bites (my favorite), and a rich chocolate topping. What more do you need?
Nanaimo Bar Ice Cream
Custard Ice Cream
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup Bird's Eye Custard Powder
2 cups whipping cream
2 cups half and half
Chocolate/Coconut/Pecan/Graham Cracker Bites
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp baking cocoa
2 Tbsp egg, beaten
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup coconut
2 Tbsp pecans, finely chopped
"Magic Shell" Chocolate Topping
1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut oil, solid
Custard Ice Cream - In a medium bowl, beat eggs until light colored. Beat in sugar for 2 minutes or so. Beat in Custard Powder for another 2 minutes. Turn beaters to low and beat in whipping cream and half & half until well combined, scraping sides of bowl as necessary.
Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions.
Meanwhile, prepare Chocolate/Coconut/etc... Bites - In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir and cook butter, sugar, vanilla, and cocoa. When melted and smooth, stir in 2 Tbsp of beaten egg.
Continue to stir briskly until cooked and thickened.
Remove from heat and stir in graham crumbs, coconut, and pecans.
Pinch off teeny amounts of the crumbs (about 1/2 tsp) and press firmly into a ball with your hands. Set onto plastic wrap lined dish. Continue until all of the mixture is formed into little balls.
Chocolate Topping - In a microwave safe bowl, place chocolate chips and coconut oil. Heat in microwave for 50 - 60 seconds. Let sit 15 seconds. Stir until smooth. (If necessary heat in 10 second increments, stirring in between, to ensure all ingredients are melted and smooth.)
Assemble Ice Cream - In a 9 X 9 baking dish, spread half of the prepared ice cream. Sprinkle with half of the chocolate/coconut/pecan/graham crumb bites. Top with other half of ice cream. Sprinkle with remaining bites.
Let freeze until firm, at least 4 hours. Gently scrape ice cream into freezer safe bowl with lid for storage. (I did it this way, instead of adding to ice cream while stirring, to ensure bites would not break apart.)
To serve, scoop ice cream into dish or cone and top with some of the "Magic Shell" chocolate topping.
A few notes - 1.) If you don't want to make your own "Magic Shell" topping you can simply purchase the store bought stuff. It will work just as good.
2.) Be sure to make the chocolate/coconut/pecan/graham crumb bites as tiny as possible. They are the best part of the ice cream (in my opinion) but you don't want to have to bit into a huge, frozen solid one while trying to enjoy your ice cream. Tiny is good.
3.) If you can't find Bird's Eye Custard Powder then you can substitute 2 small boxes of vanilla pudding mix (equivalent to 3/4 of a cup). It won't taste quite the same, or have the yellow color of a Nanaimo bar like with the Bird's Eye, but it will still work.
I'm always nervous when I'm creating a recipe all on my own. I'm happy to say this one turned out pretty darned good, if I do say so myself.
I'm adding this to our Canada Day rotation next year.
Be sure to stop by Jam Hands and Feeding Big and Chef In Training and Easy Life and Lou Lou Girls for some fun and tasty links!