Layered Brownies/White Chocolate Caramel/Cacao Nib Gelato

READY IN: 14hrs 20mins
Recipe by Manami

These "Hawks Bars" are what my friend, Judy, has chosen for one of the desserts that she is serving for her big shindig for summer's end! These bars have been named after "Hawks"a restaurant in Granite Bay, Ca. owned by Michael Fagoni and Molly Hawks. Super-sweet fudgy brownies are topped with layers of white-chocolate-flavored caramel, bittersweet chocolate ganache, and candied pecans and served with a scoop of not-too-sweet Cacao Nib Gelato.;) Amazing! Incredible!! Bon Appetit Magazine, September 2009 edition. Chilling, cooling & freezer time all included.<> Bits of shell roasted cacao beans; available at specialty food stores.

Top Review by caddlac

I found this to be very very rich(you only need a smal piece)I made it without the gelato(no ice cream maker)I don't see why it needs to sit for up to 8 hours,I set mine in the fridg for about 2 hours,until it set ,then added the chocolate ganache,and let it set for another hour or so.My compnay loved it(sevred with a good vanilla ice cream(store bought :-(

Ingredients Nutrition


  2. Lightly butter baking sheet.
  3. Stir sugar and 1/4 cup water in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
  4. Increase heat and boil until sugar syrup is light golden, occasionally brushing down sides of skillet with wet pastry brush, about 8 minutes.
  5. Add pecans and stir until syrup coats pecans, about 1 minute; immediately pour pecans out onto prepared baking sheet; spread in single layer with heatproof spatula.
  6. Cool completely and coarsely chop nuts.
  7. *Do Ahead: Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
  9. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  10. Line 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with foil; butter foil.
  11. Combine 1/2 cup butter and bittersweet chocolate in heavy medium saucepan; stir over medium-low heat until melted and smooth.
  12. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
  13. Whisk cocoa powder, flour, and salt in small bowl.
  14. Whisk sugar, eggs, and vanilla in medium bowl to blend.
  15. Pour butter mixture into sugar mixture; whisk until blended; add cocoa mixture; whisk until blended.
  16. Transfer brownie batter to prepared baking pan; smooth top (layer will be thin).
  17. Bake brownie until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 18 to 20 minutes.
  18. Allow brownie to cool slightly, then gently press down on edges to form flat, even layer.
  19. Cool completely in pan on rack.
  21. Spoon 1 tablespoon water into small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over and stir to blend.
  22. Let stand until gelatin softens, about 15 minutes.
  23. Meanwhile, combine remaining 2 tablespoons water, sugar, and pinch of salt in heavy small saucepan.
  24. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil until syrup is deep amber, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 8 minutes.
  25. Slowly add cream (mixture will bubble vigorously) & reduce heat to low.
  26. Stir to dissolve any caramel bits.
  27. Remove from heat; let cool 5 minutes.
  28. Add gelatin mixture; stir until gelatin dissolves.
  29. Add white chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth; whisk in butter.
  30. Pour caramel atop cooled brownie; spread evenly to cover completely.
  31. Chill uncovered until caramel firms slightly, at least 8 hours or overnight.
  33. Bring cream to simmer in small saucepan; remove from heat.
  34. Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth.
  35. Cool until mixture is slightly thickened but still pourable, about 15 minutes.
  36. Pour ganache atop caramel on brownie; spread just to edges.
  37. Sprinkle chopped candied pecans evenly over.
  38. Chill uncovered until ganache is firm enough to cut, about 4 hours.
  39. **DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.
  41. Combine whipping cream, milk, and cacao nibs in heavy large saucepan.
  42. Scrape in the seeds from vanilla bean; add bean and bring mixture to simmer; remove from heat.
  43. Cover and let mixture steep 30 minutes; uncover and return to simmer.
  44. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in large heatproof bowl until mixture is pale yellow and slightly thickened.
  45. Gradually add hot cream mixture to yolk mixture, whisking until blended.
  46. Return mixture to same saucepan and stir over medium low heat until custard thickens and coats back of spoon when finger is drawn across and instant-read thermometer inserted in custard registers 170ºF, about 5 minutes (do not boil).
  47. Transfer custard to medium bowl; cover and chill overnight.
  48. Pour custard through fine strainer set over bowl, discard solids in strainer.
  49. Transfer custard to ice cream maker and proocess according to manufacturer's instructions & transfer gelato to freezer container.
  50. Cover and freeze until ice cream is firm, at least 8 hours or overnight.
  51. ***DO AHEAD - Can be made 3 days ahead; keep frozen.
  52. ASSEMBLY:.
  53. Using foil as aid, lift brownie out of pan; place on work surface.
  54. Fold foil sides down.
  55. Using sharp knife, trim off about 1/4 inch of brownie on all sides.
  56. Cut brownie into eight 3 1/2-inch-long, 13/4-inch-wide bars.
  57. Place 1 brownie bar and scoop of Cacao Nib Gelato on each of 8 plates and serve.
  58. E N J O Y!

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