Meera Sodha’s recipe for vegan salted miso brownies

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
Makes 16

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

Chocolate Cake

That got your attention didn’t it….Chocolate….


  • 1 ½ cups plain flour (organic, stoneground, white flour – preferably NOT “strong” flour which is used primarily for bread making)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 tspn bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tspn salt
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tspn vinegar
  • 1 tspn vanilla essence
  • 1 cup water


  • Preheat oven to moderate temperature (180˚C).
  • Grease and flour a standard sized square cake tin, (or a round one of equivalent size, which would be perhaps 30cm in diameter).
  • Mix all ingredients together lightly and thoroughly with a fork.
  • Pour into tin and cook for approximately 35 minutes or until cake pulls away slightly from the edge of the tin.
  • Test with a thin skewer in the centre of the cake. If the skewer comes out dry, then the cake is ready.
  • Cool the cake mostly in the tin, then turn out onto a cake rack.
  • When cool, ice with chocolate icing, or just eat the cake as is.

This has passed the vigorous “Non vegan visiting children test” with flying colours, and has also won special awards at the “School fair – I can’t believe it is vegan” category.