Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hawk's Bars, soul food?

When I came across this recipe in this month's Bon Appetit I thought, oh yeah, I"m making these babies soon! Brownie bottom, white chocolate caramel center and dark chocolate ganache on the top...heaven. Unlike the chocolate muffins in my previous post these bars are are pure decadence. No flax seed or wheat flour here, just rich chocolate and caramel. I  made the bars to take along with us to the beach for our vacation and there are no calories in food eaten on vacation. Right?? Besides, as far as I'm concerned chocolate is good for the soul. I think my soul prefers chocolate to chicken soup. Chocolate makes everything better.
Anyway I was not disappointed these brownies were as good as they looked. Although they require several steps,  they are fairly simple to make.

Bon App├ętit  | September 2009
by chef-owners Michael Fagnoni and Moly Hawks (these are so good they named the bars after their restaurant!)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (54% to 60% cacao), chopped
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

White-chocolate caramel: 
3 tablespoons water, divided
3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
4 1/2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
4 ounces high-quality white chocolate,  finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced, room temperature
Bittersweet-chocolate ganache: 
2/3 cup heavy cream
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (54% to 60% cacao), finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with foil. Butter foil. Combine 1/2 cup butter and bittersweet chocolate in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Whisk cocoa powder, flour, and salt in small bowl. Whisk sugar, eggs, and vanilla in medium bowl to blend. Pour butter mixture into sugar mixture; whisk until blended. Add cocoa mixture; whisk until blended. Transfer brownie batter to prepared baking pan; smooth top (layer will be thin).
Bake brownie until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 18 to 20 minutes. Brownie will have a bumpy, uneven surface but allow brownie to cool slightly, then gently press down on edges to form flat, even layer. Cool completely in pan.

White-chocolate caramel:
Spoon 1 tablespoon water into small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over and stir. Let stand until gelatin softens, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine remaining 2 tablespoons water, sugar, and pinch of salt in heavy small saucepan. 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. Slowly add cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Reduce heat to low. Stir to dissolve any caramel bits. Remove from heat; let cool 5 minutes. Add gelatin mixture; stir until gelatin dissolves. Add white chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Whisk in butter. Pour caramel on top of the cooled brownie; spread evenly to cover completely. Chill uncovered until caramel firms slightly, at least 8 hours or overnight.
Bittersweet-chocolate ganache:
Bring cream to simmer in small saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Cool until mixture is slightly thickened but still pourable, about 15 minutes. Pour ganache atop caramel on brownie; spread just to edges. Chill uncovered until ganache is firm enough to cut, about 4 hours.  


Anonymous said...

this is the perfect dessert with ice cream!
mmmm! looking awesome ;)

Eliana said...

Too bad you didn't like them as much. They are beautiful to look at though.

Grace said...

white chocolate caramel? good googly moogly, you can stop right there--that's all i need! of course, surrounding it in other forms of chocolate certainly can't hurt...awesome bars!

Helene said...

You are tempting me so much to make those. They are to die for.

Gala said...

White chocolate caramel?? Didn't know that existed!

Krystal L. Baker said...

Oh my...those look SO GOOD! I think i gained weight just reading about them - I'll have to save them for a vacation because - you're absolutely right - vacation calories don't count!

Barbara said...

Chocolate definitely makes everything better! These bars have us covered on all counts- forget vacations only!

Daziano said...

That's a perfect recipe for indulgence!

Peabody said...

Oh my, those look killer.

Chele said...

Gonna have to make me some of those ;0)

Retroho said...

this looks so yummy!



Karla said...

just found this recipe and it is next on my "make it" list. Just one question: How do you slice them so smoothly?Thanks

Half Baked said...

@ Karla
I fill a tall glass with hot water and dip a sharp knife into the water. You may need to wipe the knife on a paper towel and dip it in the water between each cut. Hope that helps!