We’re living through very strange times. With a pandemic sweeping the globe and entire countries on shut down, everyone’s spending significantly more time indoors. Based on my social feeds this means that people seem to be baking a whole lot more often. I’ve joined the masses in making my own sourdough starter, made vegan cookie dough that’s portioned off into batches and popped in the freezer, even tried making fresh pasta for the first time. All in all, I’ve been spending a significant time in the kitchen. It’s been a good way of escaping from staring at a screen while I’m tried indoors, but also being practical at the same time. It feels like a good time to get a few posts up too.
This is actually a recipe I baked long before all of this kicked off. It’s one I’ve had in the back of my mind, ready to be blogged if I ever got round to getting back writing. After buying the fantastic new Meera Sodha book ‘East’ at the tail end of 2019, I found a recipe for Miso Brownies. Now, hers are a little more involved than these, using flax seeds, but the concept sounded fantastic so it was something I wanted to try.
Using miso for something dense and fudge-y like a brownie is excellent. It adds to that fudge-like texture but also gives an additional caramel-like flavour to the brownie. Miso’s something you may have picked up as an additional long-life extra when you were at a supermarket, or for one individual recipe. This bake should help give you some ideas for other uses too, like miso mac and cheese, or miso caramel.
So what’s everyone been baking lately?
Fudgy brownies with a nutty caramel tang. Perfect for using up any miso you’ve got in the store cupboard.
Preheat your oven to 180°C(160°C fan assisted) and line a 9x9inch square tin with baking paper.
While the oven’s heating up, melt the chocolate and butter together. Do this by placing a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water and stir until the butter and chocolate have melted together.
Leave this mixture somewhere cool a little while you do the rest.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, or using an electric whisk, beat together the eggs, egg white and sugar. This will take a while, so a stand mixer will be best. Whisk for 7-10 minutes. The mixture will have gone pale and yellow. If you pick some up on the whisk and dribble it across the top, it should take a couple of seconds for the line to disappear. This step is essential for getting the properly crispy meringue-like top.
Stir through the miso and the vanilla.
Carefully stir through the chocolate and butter mixture, making sure you don’t knock much air out.
Carefully stir through the flour, again making sure you don’t knock the air out.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin, and place in the middle shelf of your preheated oven.
Bake for 17-22 minutes. You want the top to have crisped up and for there to be just a little jiggle when you wobble the tray.
Place the tin on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely, and set, before serving.
It’s the time of year where I can start putting pumpkin into absolutely everything. This happens every year, and it’s one of the best things about autumn. Some prior examples from the blog include things like pumpkin cinnamon buns, nutella pumpkin pies and pumpkin & black eyed bean curry. You can see everything pumpkin here. I love make spicy pumpkin soups, pies and bundt cakes. I’m not just talking ‘pumpkin spiced’ either as none of that junk has pumpkin in it, just a blend of spices that’s sold to you as the taste of autumn. I decided to experiment with one of my favourite go-to recipes, my brownies. I’ve made cheesecake brownies before and this falls into a similar territory and while I was worried about flavours and moisture levels, the Pumpkin Pie Brownies were a huge success.Read more
Easter is right around the corner. People keep on putting Crème Eggs in everything. This is not ok with me. At their best, Crème Eggs are sickly, at their worst they’re nauseating. I don’t dislike them, I just don’t see what they add to anything. At Easter these days there are so many better options, even from Cadburys. But king of the high street readily available eggs has to be the Galaxy Caramel Eggs. They are just better, hands down. They are better than the Cadbury’s Caramel ones too, but the same can be said for the chocolate bars of both. Sorry Cadbury’s! My dream would be for Lindt to turn their salted caramel bars into an egg though, then I’d probably be found in a coma surrounded by empty foils murmuring “just one more egg, it’ll be ok” over and over again.
I realised earlier that I’ve only done one recipe post in the whole of 2016, and hey, that’s just not on. I’ve talked about adventuring, looked back at what 2015 had to offer when it came to eating, baking and music, but I’ve only done one measly recipe post. I mean it was a pretty great recipe, and you should go and check it out if you haven’t already, but to say I’ve baked a few bits I should have blogged more. In my own defense I had no internet, and then I moved house. So both of those things combined have made for a turbulent and not necessarily productive few weeks. I’ve packed my life into boxes again, unpacked a chunk of it, done some DIY, unpacked more of it, and in amongst that still been baking. The kitchen stuff was of course first priority and not just for me. My new housemate has a taste for cake and I’m pretty sure it’s the main reason he’s let me move into his spare room.
What the hell is it with Blondies and Brownies just makes me unable to photograph them well? I mean, nights are setting in so I cracked my lighting kit out for the first time this “Autumn” which didn’t help as I was only starting to get used to it before so now months without practise haven’t been good. I baked this back when Autumn was first starting up. There’d been a chill in the air for about a week or so, with a few cold days on top of the crisp mornings. I welcomed it. Summer is overrated. To quote Brand New (who I was seeing on that Friday)); The time has come for colds, and overcoats. Which is why I’ve made my first vaguely autumnal recipe of the year; Pecan & Caramel Blondies. (Since this I’ve done a ton more and they’ll be coming up over the next few weeks).