Picture 3Nanaimo poster4:13PM I JUST REALIZED THE NANAIMO BARS I’m entering into tomorrow’s Brooklyn Chocolate Experiment taste rubbish at room temperature. I don’t think this would be an issue if they were normal Nanaimo bar-size, but my scaled down, bite-size version makes the chocolate-custard square melt quickfast! I am off to buy ice packs after I finish cutting and pasting a thousand colored squares onto the poster I’m bringing tomorrow. The weather isn’t cooperating and Jason, the boyfriend/chocolate assistant, is ill with something he caught from the fishes on holiday in Cabo. Happy day.

11:12PM UPDATE Poster done. And I only seriously snipped the skin off my finger once. Next task: 300 Nanaimo bites. That’s right. I am no longer calling them “bars” as they don’t really deserve that designation, being only a fraction of bar-size. So bites they will be. (Scroll down! More updates below.)

8:10AM UPDATE I ran out of confectioners sugar, unsalted butter, and steam by 3:22AM and decided to call it quits for the night. Left Layer 1: Cocoa Cookie Base to cool down and solidify in the refrigerator before falling heavily, like a tree, into bed with my alarm set to 6AM. By 6:30, I completed my first trip to the corner deli for two boxes of icing sugar and four sticks of butter.

At 7AM, I returned to the deli for another box of sugar. I need 12 cups of sugar for the amount of custard frosting I’m making. Sadly, by the time I emptied Sugar Box #4, I only had 10 cups. That’s one lesson I learned the long, circuitous way.

Quick note before quick nap as Layer 2: Custard cools: I accidentally stained two fingers with green food coloring and it’s not coming off.

370-56:19PM UPDATE Somehow, I survived the day or as Jackie put it – lived to tell about it. I haven’t said much since 4PM, actually, when I stopped having to shout over the DJ: “These are NA-NIE-MO bars! They’re from Canada! And they taste like Andes mint with a crushed cookie base!” I was flustered as hell during the first hour – refilling empty plates is a challenge when contestants are serving side-by-side, elbow-to-elbow – but Jason handled the plating with aplomb while I stood behind my poster wondering what it would’ve been like on the sampling side. The event was sold-out.

Around 3:30, the queue of chocolate fanatics began to die down and I had a moment to taste a few of the other chocolate entries, like the light and crunchy chocolate hush puppies sprinkled with corn flakes. Sadly, I didn’t get to try Roopa Marcello‘s terrifically unique Thai chili-lime chocolate ice cream with miniature hand-rolled cocoa ginger Thai basil cones that ultimately won the competition. (Read the recap by Always Hungry. They sampled and photographed each entry, including my own.)

It was an utterly eye-opening day. It is hard friggin’ work planning a recipe and executing it for 300 people. I would do it again but, next time, I may be more inclined to pay for the fruit of others’ labor than deal with supermarkets, ingredients, containers, and transportation again.

Picture 4MONDAY 11:14AM UPDATE I showered and scrubbed the chocolate from my pores before passing out at 8:30PM last night. Major kitchen clean-up on the agenda this morning, along with treating myself to mini lavender chocolate cupcakes by Keavy of Kumquat Cupcakery for breakfast. I met Keavy at the chocolate after-party and was struck by her sweetness and super cute chin-length haircut. She exemplifies her charming brand from head to toe.

As a native New Yorker with ample eatingGifted+Postcard+FRONT+FINAL experience, I’m an enthusiastic supporter of quality local goods and think Kumquat’s signature cupcakes are among this city’s best. I wish Keavy had a storefront, but til she does you can find her this holiday at Gifted Holiday Market, the Manhattan counterpart to the Brooklyn Flea market, between November 27th and December 24th.

NOON UPDATE All’s well that ends well. I’m meeting my new friend Adam (@avantsweater) for medium-rare cheeseburgers at JG Melon on the Upper East Side. Gonna thank him for his suggestion, which started it all.

Event photo from Metromix | Cupcake photo courtesy of Kumquat Cupcakery


November 14, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Brooklyn, Dessert, event, Manhattan.


  1. emily replied:

    Amy, that’s one of the reasons why I didn’t compete. Two out of the three competitions I’ve done, I barely had time to try anyone else’s (very delicious) food. Cooking for 50-300 bites in insane, and I don’t know if anyone who hasn’t competed before realizes that. Yours was delicious, by the way, a truly classic combination.

  2. Nick Suarez replied:


    Thank you for all your hard work. Your Nanaimo bites were absolutely delicious! I had never heard of them until yesterday.

    Hopefully, for our next Experiment, we will be able to find a sponsor who can cover the costs for the chefs and give chefs time to taste each others dishes. It’s a tough, competitive sport nonetheless and we hope you continue to compete or attend our future events.

    Best regards,

    Nick Suarez

  3. Ryan replied:

    Amy, didn’t have a chance to make it to the expo, but good on you for working up a sweat. Coming from another non-baker, I think there should have been a bell curve or handicap. You would’ve won.

    Congrats on the mission!

  4. Roopa replied:

    Hi Amy, It was wonderful meeting you on Sunday. I’m so sorry I didn’t get a cone to you – it was so crazy in there and I thought your boyfriend would have shared (shame on him! 😉 I also passed out at 8:30 last night and was still tired this morning. Hopefully I’ll see you at the next Experiment or at some other food event before then.

  5. Georgia Miller replied:

    my favorite is always Dark Chocolate, i do not like Milk Chocolate coz it is too sweet for my taste*:’

  6. Wilson J replied:


    I am happy your write-up was available for reading. It’s very thought-provoking, informative, bold, original as well as creative.

    This data has given me the new perspective on this particular topic. Thank you..

    Nice blog tooo 😉

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