Miso butterscotch + tahini brownies

The idea of miso caramel had been on my mind for some time, popping up on my Instagram feed and staring at me from magazine pages and newspaper supplements. When I finally got the idea out of my head and into the kitchen, it had morphed into miso butterscotch.

Butterscotch vs caramel

Butterscotch sauce shares a similar flavour profile to caramel sauce, but by using muscovado sugar and golden syrup, you don’t have to faff with caramelising the sugar first. This recipe makes about twice as much butterscotch sauce as you’ll need for the brownies, but that’s only a problem for your waistline. It’s awesome on everything: pancakes, ice cream, sliced banana, your fingers, spare ribs (probably!)… get experimenting!

The base sauce recipe is the same one I entered into a Little Chef pancake competition when I was about 8 years old and it is simplicity itself: equal quantities of all the ingredients, stirred together in a pan and cooked until thick. 8-year-old me would never have dreamed of adding such an exotic ingredient as miso – it was years before anyone but the French had thought to even add salt to caramel – but it’s fabulous here. It takes the salted caramel vibe up a notch by building in a layer of umami richness.

Baking with tahini

To mitigate the extreme sweetness when adding butterscotch to brownies, I’ve added an extra ingredient: tahini paste. Its resolute savouriness really helps to balance the sugar and enhance the umami and salt qualities of the miso. Together they give a malty note, especially where the butterscotch has darkened and caramelised at the edges.

Miso butterscotch and tahini brownies

Makes 28 small squares in a 35 cm x 20 cm tin

  • 225 g salted butter
  • 100 g dark chocolate, 70 % cocoa solids (I used Green & Blacks)
  • 85 g cocoa powder (I’m still loving The Raw Chocolate Co)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 450 g light muscovado sugar
  • 100 g self-raising flour
  • 4 tbsp tahini (Belazu by preference)

For the miso butterscotch:

  • 75 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 75 g golden syrup
  • 75 g butter
  • 75 g double cream
  • 1 tbsp white miso paste (approx.)
  1. Make the miso caramel in advance. Put the sugar, syrup, butter and cream in a saucepan. Stir over a medium-low heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat a little and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring every now and then. Leave to cool to room temperature, then stir in miso to taste.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C (160 fan) | 350°F | gas 4 and line a 35 cm x 20 cm brownie tin with greaseproof paper.
  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then add the chocolate and stir gently until melted. Stir in the cocoa until smoothly combined, then set aside.
  4. Whisk the eggs with the sugar for 4 minutes or until it reaches ribbon stage.
  5. Sift over the flour and pour the chocolate mixture down the side, then fold everything together until streak-free.
  6. Scrape the brownie mixture into the prepared tin, then dollop the tahini over the top. Drizzle over 3 tbsp of the miso caramel, then use a skewer to swirl everything together until pleasingly marbled.
  7. Bake for 25 – 30 mins or until a crust has formed on top and the edges have set, but there’s still plenty of goo lurking inside.
  8. Leave to cool completely in the tin, then chill for 30 minutes to make unmoulding and cutting easier.
Chill the cooled brownies to fully set the butterscotch before attempting to cut them (something I was too impatient to do with these!)
Get creative with the leftover sauce – it was glorious on these matcha pancakes!

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