If I were in charge of brownies and their taxonomy, there would be a proper list of categories. The only thing that unifies them really is the chocolate, beyond which they could be cakey, crumbly, chewy, chocolatey or, er, cocoa-ey. This one is my perfect brownie: dense and fudgy, thanks to the chia seeds; and rich, but not sickeningly so, with a salted caramel-like flavour that comes from using white miso and salt together. It makes this brownie incredibly special. And there is no category for that.
Make sure you use flavourless coconut oil, unless you actually want to add a coconut flavour, and check that the chocolate is suitable for vegans.
Prep 10 min
Cook 45 min
4 ½ tbsp milled chia seeds
150g flavourless coconut oil
250g dark chocolate (85%), broken into small pieces
420g light brown muscovado sugar
120g plain flour
3 ½ tbsp white miso (shiro miso)
1 tsp flaky sea salt
Heat the oven to 190c (180C fan)/390F/gas 6, and line a 20cm x 22cm square tin with greaseproof paper. In a small bowl, mix the milled chia seeds with 270ml water and set aside.
Put the coconut oil and broken chocolate into a medium-sized saucepan, and set over a low heat. Stir occasionally until melted, then mix in the sugar, flour and miso, and crumble in the salt flakes. Finally, stir in the soaked and bloomed chia seeds, then pour into the lined tin and gently shake to distribute evenly.
Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45 minutes, then remove. The brownies might still be a bit wobbly in the middle, but they will soon settle down as they cool and be deliciously fudgy. Leave to cool completely, then cut into 16 squares.
Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian. Food styling: Katy Gilhooly. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay