The miso brings a different balance to the flavour, working in tandem with the white chocolate to give you a hit of savoury with your sweetness, while the hazelnuts add welcome texture.
Ingredients100g whole hazelnuts
250g soft butter 300g soft light brown sugar
1 teaspoon miso paste or salt
3 medium eggs
130g black treacle (molasses)
450g plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 and a 1/2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
250g white chocolate chips
Photo Credit: Sam A Harris.
Turn on the oven to 170°C fan/340°F/gas 5 and line your 22 x 33 x 5cm baking tray (sheet pan).
While the oven is still warming up, pop the hazelnuts on the lined tray and place in the oven for 10–15 minutes, then remove them and transfer them to one half of a clean dish towel. Fold the other half of the dish towel over the top and rub the nuts through the towel with the palms of your hands: this will remove the hazelnut skins. Leave to cool slightly, then discard all the skins. Smash the nuts up, either in a food processor or by wrapping them back up in the towel and beating with a rolling pin, then set them aside for later.
Heat the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat for a few minutes until it melts and starts turning a golden-brown colour. Then transfer the hot butter to the bowl of your stand mixer, or a large mixing bowl, and add the sugar, mixing on a high speed (or by hand) for a few minutes until it cools and bonds together. Add the miso and eggs and mix until it forms a glossy emulsion. Next add the treacle and all the dry ingredients, along with the white chocolate chips. Mix on a medium speed until fully combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and around the bottom to stop a mosh pit of ingredients gathering down there, and give it a final mix. Turn the mixture out into the lined tray and press it down evenly.
Bake for 35–40 minutes for that really soft cookie style, or for a little longer if you want crunchy edges. Remove from the tray and, while the cake is still warm, use a knife to mark out the portions before things firm up. If you want a gooey centre, sit the tray in some icy water as soon as the cake comes out of the oven, or put it straight into the freezer for 20 minutes. This will halt the cooking from the residual heat, meaning the middle stays a little undercooked.
Best eaten still warm or cooled. This will keep for a week in an airtight container in the fridge. Try using different types of miso paste. Barley, rice and soy bean miso all have different flavours. They can be dark, pale or red in colour, but all carry that kick of umami.
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