I’m usually not one to have dessert in the middle of the day, but when these brownies came out the oven, I just could not stop eating them. Actually though, when I was photographing, I was on such a sugar high that I had to stick my camera on a tripod because my hands were shaking. I don’t know, the combination of gooey salted miso caramel with rich and fudgy chocolate really does crazy things to your brain. Even writing this, I just want to open the refrigerator and start inhaling brownies (or whats left of them). It felt like cheating too, because these were just so darn easy to make. The four ingredient miso caramel takes about five minutes while the brownies come together in the bowl of a food processor.
Now I have two secret ingredients that may just make this the best brownie recipe (vegan or non vegan) that you will ever encounter.
Number one: MISO.
I know it sounds a little funky, but trust me this flavorful fermented chickpea paste is beautifully salty and adds this whole other dimension to your classic salted caramel. I used white miso which is slightly milder than red miso.
Number two: BEANS
Ok, hear me out. I got this idea flipping through the cookbook, Cool Beans by the brilliant Joe Yonan. In his rose water brownies, he achieves this amazing rich fudgy texture by blending red beans into the batter! Intrigued, I decided to pull out a can of aduki beans and give it a go and MY GOD. The texture was unlike anything I’d every had before and not even a hint of beaniness. And an added bonus, it’s full of protein! For this recipe, I thought the aduki beans were perfect, but if you can’t find any, a can of black beans would certainly work as well.
One final word, this recipe also calls for aquafaba—the liquid from a can of chickpeas. Again, I know it’s weird, but it’s going to help with that amazing rich and fudgy texture.
1 can aduki or black beans
3 tbsp coconut oil or dairy free butter
2/3 cup aquafaba
3/4 cup good quality cocoa powder (I recommend Droste)
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dairy free butter
4 tbsp coconut cream
2 tbsp miso paste
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease an 8 by 8 baking dish and dust with cocoa powder, tapping out the excess.
2. To make the caramel, whisk together all ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 2 minutes. Set aside
3. To make the brownies, combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor (except chocolate chips and baking powder) and blend until super smooth—at least 2 min. Fold in baking powder and chocolate chips then evenly spread half the batter across the prepared baking dish. Pour over caramel, you probably won’t use it all (I reserved about a 1/2 cup). As best as you can, spread the remaining brownie batter over the caramel. If they mix together a little that’s ok, it will still be delicious!
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is firm and flaky or a toothpick comes out (relatively) clean. Allow to cool for at least 30 min before cutting.