Miso and hazelnut pumpkin bread
A very gourd cake
Today I’m sharing my recipe for miso and hazelnut pumpkin “bread”. It’s probably my favourite use of this autumnal vegetable so I hope you enjoy it as well. I’m also thinking about savoury flavours in desserts.
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My four-year-old is, like most four-year-olds, a fussy eater.
This is why it gave me such joy last week when, having given him a slice of this rich, fudgy, toffee-like cake, he professed how yummy it was. And in particular, how much he liked the chocolate chips.
It was then I told him they were actually nuts.
This was were I screwed up.
He took another bite, and swiftly corrected himself.
“Too much nuts,” he said, putting the cake back down. “It’s ingusting.”
I hope you enjoy it as much as he did before finding out what he was really eating.
Miso and savoury flavours in desserts
So, why miso? Well, this ingredient adds a fantastic depth to “earthy” sweet dishes. Things like this spiced banana bread or dark Swedish chocolate cake. The miso adds such a delicious, almost floral, quality. And because miso is so salty, it also does a similar job enhancing flavour as the salt does in salted caramel.
Here’s my advice, if you have a favourite sweet dish that is based on nuts, chocolate, spice, caramel or coffee, experiment with a touch of umami-rich white miso. I think you’ll be very pleased.
This works both ways, too. I’m really interested in using traditionally umami/savoury flavours in sweet dishes. My mushroom chocolate tart is a recent example of that. My thinking is that “earthy” savoury flavours, things like potatoes, beets, parsnips, and mushrooms are particularly suited to use in desserts. If you feel like experimenting, that’s were I recommend you begin.
I love it when two ingredients merge to create something more than the sum of their parts. And together, miso and sweetened pumpkin creates an unmistakable toffee-like flavour of delicately caramelised sugar and butter.
The cake would be lovely without the nuts but I just really enjoy the texture they bring. And of course, the flavour goes so well with the miso and nutty, autumnal pumpkin.
A recipe for miso and hazelnut pumpkin bread
This cake keeps for days and days without refrigeration and gets ever so slightly moister as it ages if kept in plastic wrap. But my tip is to enjoy at least some of this while it still maintains a gesture of the oven’s warmth. At this temperature, the cake manifests an almost set pudding-like texture from the moisture of the pumpkin, and is just lovely with a simple vanilla ice cream.
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