Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Another Baking Mix...

Oh dear. After the success of my Funfetti Cake, I now find myself in supermarkets lingering around the 'packet cake' section of the baking aisle. In the past I'd walk quickly past this area, heading for the 'real' baking section where I would lovingly fill my basket with ingredients - packets of nuts, Chipits chocolate chips, etc - for my genuinely home-made cakes and cookies. Now however the evil Pillsbury boy and wicked Betty Crocker have weaseled their way into my consciousness and I find myself being increasingly tempted by what they're offering up.

I knew it would happen sometime, but last week I actually succumbed in true Oscar "I can resist everything except temptation" Wilde style when my eye alighted on this thing of beauty:

For those of you not in the know, Nanaimo Bars are a wonderful Canadian invention, purportedly hailing from the town on Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. They are a layered traybake consisting of a coconutty, chocolatey, biscuity base, topped with a sinfully creamy layer of, er, creamy stuff, and a final topping of chocolate. They are most definitely the kind of thing that a gastro-snob would shun, but despite my inate snobbery about cake-mixes, I wouldn't call myself one of those. I have often pondered making my own Nanaimo Bars, but somehow the idea of creating 3 layers was just too much mental baggage for me to carry and my plan has never made it to fruition. However, the words 'No Bake Treat' on the side of this gorgeously packaged box made it too much for me to resist.

Upon reading the instructions I was delilghted by the ease of the preparation (the box contains 3 packets, one for each layer) but also slightly taken aback by the sheer volume of butter required to make the finished product... Packet A - add half a cup of butter; Packet B - add butter; Packet C - add... guess what... more butter. Oh well I thought, something that tastes this good was never going to be a health food now was it?!
This photo was thoughtfully composed for my bilingual blog-readers!
And so it was made. For the amount of pure fat mixed into this creation, it fills a frighteningly small tray. The instructions suggest that you cut the finished traybake into 40 - yes, FORTY - pieces, and a 'serving' of 2 tiny pieces contains a mere 240 calories and 38% of your daily allowance of saturated fat. The message is clear: don't read the nutritional information on these boxes.

Looking again at this photo, I see that the closeness of the shot makes it deceiving... each piece is about 2cm x 4cm. Teeny.
Terrified that I would scoff the entire tray and induce an instant heart-attack, I took it to a Pot-Luck supper last night, where they were very popular. Fortunately there were just a few left at the end of the evening...