Umami Treat: Miso Blondies
I fully admit that I have a lady crush on Christina Tosi. I have all her books, admire fact she built a damn good business and her aesthetic and culinary style is right up my aisle. So, one day while perusing the inter-webs, I saw a recipe she had a recipe for miso butterscotch sundae on the James Beard website. My immediate thought was, I can bake that into something.
I don’t know if there is any better culinary combo than salty and sweet. Chocolate covered pretzels, salted caramel, candied bacon. All addictively good. But I always wanted a little bit more of that umami taste. It is just the intangible, savory taste that makes the sweetness more balanced, less cloying. Walking through my neighborhood cheese and gourmet food shop, I saw a package of light miso and the lightbulb went off: Miso blondies.
Blondies are basically brown sugar and butter. They dense and sweet so they’re the perfect partner to the salty funk of miso. It might sound weird, but trust me, it’s freaking delicious and you will end up making a lot of them.
By no means am I a miso expert. I know that white is the mildest, the deeper the color, the deeper the flavor. I don’t recommend using red miso paste for this recipe. It is a little too intense. I used light, yellow sweet miso. The brand I bought also happened to be gluten-free, which is perfect. Also, taste the miso before you put it in the batter. You need to know what you’re cooking with so you can adjust if you need to. More on that below.
Preheat oven to 350F
1/2 cup or 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup organic dark brown sugar
2 tsps vanilla extract
1/4 cup light, sweet miso
1 large egg, cold from the fridge
1 cup gluten-free flour (I use Cup4cup)
2 tsps ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground coriander
Take out an 8x8inch baking pan, line it with tin foil. No need to grease it.
In a large microwave safe bowl, plop in the stick of butter, cover and melt in the microwave. Once melted, let it cool for 2 minutes.
Add the brown sugar, vanilla and miso to the butter. Whisk until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and whisk until incorporated.
With a spatula, fold in the flour and spices until fully combined. Get all the flour off the bottom of the bowl.
Pour batter into the pan, using a spatula to push the batter into the corners and even out the batter around the pan. Bake for 28 minutes or until the edges are brown and the center is starting to darken.
Let cool for 1 hour before slicing. Enjoy the gooey goodness with vanilla or ginger ice cream.
Note: Before you mix in the egg to the batter, give it a taste to see if you like the level of miso. You definitely want to taste the salty funk, but don’t want it to be overwhelming. If you feel like you want more funk, add another tablespoon or two of miso. If you think it is too funky, add a tablespoon or two of sugar to balance things out.