Miso is typically used in savory applications, like soups, dressings and sauces. However, its saltiness belies a sweet side just waiting to boost flavor in desserts. It’s no secret that salt is an important component when it comes to baking. This recipe replaces the usual granular stuff in the batter with a generous amount of mild white miso, which amps up the chocolate and brings a sharper contrast to the sweetness. Somewhere between fudgy and cakey, these brownies get another dimension of texture from crunchy walnuts. The final flourish is a drizzle of miso glaze, which takes the salty-sweet pairing to the next level.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on at least 2 opposing sides. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk together the flour and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Melt the butter and chocolate in a large pot over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add 1/3 cup of the miso and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir to combine. Fold in the walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs, 33 to 36 minutes.
Let the brownies cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Use the foil overhang to help lift them out of the pan.
Just before serving, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons miso and 1 tablespoon water in another medium bowl until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the brownies then cut into 24 squares. The brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
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