If I were in charge of brownies and their taxonomy (which, sadly, I'm not), there would be a proper list of categories. The only thing that uniﬁes them really is the chocolate, beyond which they can be cakey, crumbly, chewy or cocoa-y (and many other things beyond those beginning with the letter "c"). This one is my perfect brownie: dense and fudgy thanks to the chia seeds; rich, but not sickeningly so; with a salted caramel-like ﬂavor that comes from using white miso and salt together. It makes this brownie incredibly special. And there is no category for that.
Preheat the oven to 400 F and line an 8- by 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper.2.
In a small bowl, mix the ground chia seeds with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water and set aside.3.
Place the coconut oil and broken chocolate in a medium-sized saucepan and set over a low heat. Stir occasionally until melted, then take off the heat. Mix in the sugar, flour and miso, and crumble in the salt flakes. Finally, add the bloomed chia seeds and mix. Pour into the lined pan and gently shake to distribute the mixture.4.
Place on the middle shelf of the oven for 45 minutes or until firm to the touch around the edges with a slight wobble in the middle, then remove. The brownies might be wobbly in the middle, but they will soon settle down and become deliciously fudgy. Leave to cool completely, then cut into 16 squares.
Excerpted from EAST by Meera Sodha. Copyright © 2020 by Meera Sodha. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by David Loftus.