Month 2 of my Daring Bakers Challenges.

Gluten Free Graham Crackers and Nainomo Bars.

I was initially excited about the idea of a GF challenge which then dissipated when I realized I didn’t really want to eat a GF graham cracker let alone make an entire dessert out of the stuff. I carried on however with the actual GF baking mostly so I could work with unfamiliar ingredients. The whole point of DB is the challenge right?

I followed the posted recipe exactly although my hunt for sorghum flour was almost the dealbreaker. The finished dough was very soft and sticky but the baked cookies were actually pretty good. I only nibbled on a small piece since I needed the rest for the Nainomo bars.

This is where I would insert a photo of the finished graham crackers but in my eagerness to move onto the next step of the challenge I kind of forgot to actually take a picture. Oops.

Now on the Nainomo Bars.

Immediately after looking over the posted recipe I decided I needed to make a major change (or two). I don’t like coconut. Or more specifically shredded coconut. I’m ok with coconut milk, essence etc. Just no shredded pieces please. Mixing the coconut with graham crackers, sugar, nuts and chocolate wasn’t going to make me hate it any less. So bye bye coconut. Hello rolled oats.

From there it was a slippery slope to more changes. I got excited over the ‘custard’ layer until I realized the Birds custard powder (which I always have in the cupboard because I grew up with the stuff and as far as I’m concerned it IS a staple) was merely a coloring and slight flavoring agent in the custard layer. That custard layer I was excited about is in essence just yellow icing. I began to wonder if maybe I should skip the challenge.

Instead I bring you a Nainomo “inspired” torte.

The crust was made according to the posted recipe with 2 substitutions… no coconut (used rolled oats) and pecans instead of almonds (that was what I had on hand). I also decided to grind everything together for a less chunky cookie base. The “custard” layer of yellow icing was replaced with a vanilla bean homemade custard and I used semi-sweet chocolate for the top.

Rich and seriously easy if you use store bought graham crackers.

Having never eaten an original Nainomo bar I can’t say if I’ve bastardized the original concept or simply paid homage to it with a dessert you can impress dinner guests with. Either way I kind of like what I did.