Thursday, 14 April 2016

Purple Matcha Nanaimo Bars

I’m bringing a touch of Canada to proceedings this week as we have a Canadian relative staying with us, cousin Lawrence from Toronto.

He kindly brought us some coffee over from one of our favourite coffee houses in Canada, Tim Hortons. We love the coffee they sell, but this post is more about tea actually.

Williamson Tea to be exact. They recently sent me some of their antioxidant packed purple matcha recently to try. Williamson have been tea purveyors since 1869, so must know a thing or two about the process.

The tea comes in a lovely wee canister adorned with an elephant, the company’s mascot. They also sent me a bamboo whisk with which to stir the tea as it’s brewing.

It has a lovely pure flavour, quite nutty, which I thought would work well added to some Nanaimo bars. This is the Canadian part, in case you were wondering where I was going with things.

I’ve made Nanaimo bars here on the blog before. As you possibly know, they comprise a biscuit base, filled with coconut, cocoa and nuts. Pecans are traditional, but I had some walnuts in the cupboard and used them here.

To incorporate the matcha, I added it to the creamy custard filling of the bars. Usually this is a mix of custard powder, icing sugar, butter and milk. I added the powder here and it really imparted a delicate tea flavour to the mix.

Finally the bars are finished off with a dark chocolate topping, which I sprinkled crushed coconut chips on top of, to compliment the coconut in the base.

nanaimo bars flavoured with matche purple tea powder

The bars chill in the fridge until ready to eat. My tasters loved them and the subtle purple tea flavour especially.

These are a nice spin on a Canadian classic, and one which has the seal of approval from a true Canadian, Lawrence.

If you get some matcha, green or purple, then I would totally recommend making these bars. The purple matcha I received retails at £24.95 for 30 grams.

Here's how I made them...

print recipe

Matcha Nanaimo Bars
Canadian confection Nanaimo bars with added green tea
  • 113 grams unsalted butter
  • 55 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetned cocoa powder
  • 320 grams digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 90 grams desiccated coconut
  • 65 grams chopped walnuts
  • 56 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 250 grams icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons custard powder
  • 1 teaspoon matcha
  • 140 grams dark chocolate (72%)
  • 15 grams unsalted butter
  • 30 grams crushed coconut chips
Line an 8”x8” baking tin with foil and set aside.To make the base , in a bowl, place the 113 grams of butter, sugar, the egg, vanilla and cocoa. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. and gently stir the ingredients until the butter has melted and everything has blended.Remove from the heat and stir in the crushed digestives, coconut and walnuts. Transfer the mix to the baking tin and press down evenly, as firmly as you can. Place the pan in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill.To make the filling, combine the 56 grams of softened butter, milk, icing sugar, custard and matcha until it is a smooth spreadable consistency. Add this to the top of the biscuit base and with an off-set spatula spread evenly. Pop into the fridge to set up, for at least 30 minutes.For the topping, melt the dark chocolate and 15 grams of butter together over another bowl, on top a pan of simmering water. Pour the melted chocolate over the chilled filling and sprinkle with coconut chips. Place into the fridge once more and chill the bars for at least another hour before slicing up into squares.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 30 bars approx.

I'm entering this 'bake' into Alphabakes hosted by Ros, The More Than Occasional Baker and this month Caroline at Caroline Makes. The letter this month is T, which stands for Tea in this recipe!

Disclosure Statement: I received the matcha free to review. I was not asked to create a recipe and did not receive payment. Any opinions expressed are my own.


  1. I must get into these slices of Canadian culture, they look great :-) Matcha is pricey, but I like it, haven't tried the purple stuff mind...

    1. It is good Fanny, a bit of a subtle difference, but good!

  2. I love their tins! Have some at home... Never come across purple matcha before, must find some!!

  3. I didn't know you could get purple matcha either but anyway these look so amazing. I have never tried a Namaimo bar before, but they sound so good!

    1. You must rectify that Laura - very, very good!

  4. I love the tea tin! I am a sucker for well presented and graphically pleasing packaging!! Also the nanaimo bars look great! I've only made them once before, I must try your twist on them!! Matcha! Purple matcha none the less!! ;0)

    1. I know exactly what you mean about packaging Lisa x

  5. These look amazing Stuart, would love one with a cuppa right now. I've yet to bake with matcha so think you've inspired me:-)

  6. Can't believe I still haven't tried a nanaimo bar - what am I playing at???

    1. I am, quite frankly, shocked at that confession CC. You have to try making them!

  7. These look great - I've come across matcha before but not purple matcha. Thanks for sharing with Alphabakes.


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