If you still need convincing that miso paste belongs in desserts (and not just in soup), Elaine Townsend has the recipe to make you a convert. Instead of finishing her chewy cocoa brownies with a flourish of salt, the pastry chef of Fat Rice in Chicago spreads on a thick layer of fudge spiked with umami-packed miso paste. A bonus layer of candied almonds—flavored with even more miso—adds extra crunch.
We've provided the conversions for baking by volume below, but this recipe works best if you take the time to weigh out each of the ingredients.
Miso Fudge Brownies
Recipe adapted from Elaine Townsend, The Bakery at Fat Rice, Chicago, IL
Yield: 18 brownies
Prep Time: 40 minutes, plus cooling time
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 25 minutes, plus cooling time
For the Brownies:
6 cups (728 grams) confectioners' sugar
4 cups (400 grams) almond flour
2 cups (200 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup (250 grams) or approximately 7 egg whites
½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons, peanut or canola oil
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
For the Candied Miso Almonds:
Peanut or canola oil
4 cups (400 grams) sliced and toasted almonds
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
¼ cup coconut oil
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons white miso paste
1 tablespoon sesame oil
For the Miso Fudge:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups (287 grams) chopped dark chocolate, at least 64 percent cocoa
½ cup white miso paste
1. Make the brownies: Preheat the oven to 350°. Line an 18-by-13-inch half sheet pan with roughly an 18-by-17-inch piece of parchment paper, so that there's enough overhang on the sides for you to lift the brownies out of the pan.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar, almond flour, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg whites, oil and vanilla.
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together until you get a very stiff batter. Since there's no gluten in this recipe, you don't have to worry about overmixing: Just keep working the dough until all of the dry ingredients have been absorbed.
4. Spread the dough as evenly as possible into the prepared sheet pan and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the center is set and firm to the touch. Let cool.
5. Make the candied almonds: Reduce the oven to 300°. Grease a large bowl with peanut oil. Add the almonds and gently crush with your hands.
6. In a saucepan, stir together the sugar and water. Cook over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, until a dark caramel forms. You can swirl the pan occasionally, but do not stir.
7. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the coconut oil, salt and baking powder, before whisking in the miso paste. It's OK if the caramel looks separated due to the coconut oil.
8. Immediately pour the caramel over the almonds and stir to combine. Don't worry if you're not able to cover all the almonds, since the caramel will melt and redistribute in the oven. Stir in the sesame oil to coat.
9. Place the almonds in a single layer on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container until ready to use.
10. Make the miso fudge: In a saucepan, combine the butter, condensed milk and chocolate over medium-low heat until the chocolate is melted. Whisk in the miso paste until smooth.
11. Spread the fudge over the brownies and freeze the entire pan for at least 1 hour for easier slicing. Using the excess parchment, lift the brownies from the pan and cut into 18 pieces. When ready to serve, top each slice with the candied almonds.