Modern Asian Baking at Home: Essential Sweet and Savory Recipes for Milk Bread, Mochi, Mooncakes, and More; Inspired by the Subtle Asian Baking Community, written by Kat Lieu, features an incredible collection of both traditional favorites and new creations using flavors from throughout East and Southeast Asia.
A few highlights include Chewy Taiwanese Snowflake Crisps, Ube Butter Mochi, Tangzhong Milk Bread Five-Spice Cinnamon Buns, Tri-Color Japanese-Style Matcha Cheesecake, and Lunar New Year Nian Gao. I will also be sharing her recipe for Gooey Fudgy Miso Brownies following the review.
Disclosure: I received this book from Quarry Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions and statements are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Kat Lieu is an author and recipe developer. She grew up in New York and currently lives in Washington state.
She launched the online baking group, Subtle Asian Baking (SAB) on May 24th, 2020. It has now grown to over 100,000 members and thousands of recipes. Her work can also be found on Instagram and TikTok.
Modern Asian Baking at Home
Kat begins Modern Asian Baking at Home with a short introduction and the history leading to the development of Subtle Asian Baking.
She has put together a helpful guide for beginners with the descriptions and uses of a few notable ingredients. There are also details with photos on specific techniques such as steaming, beating egg whites, and shaping bread.
Chapters are divided according to the following: Basics and Confections, SAB’s Favorite Cookies and Pastries, Airy and Not-Too-Sweet Cakes, Bread and Yeasted Bakes, Treats Under One Moon and Holiday Bakes, Custards and Frozen, and Drinks. The contents include the list of recipes with page number for easy reference.
The photography is provided by Nicole Soper Photography. Every single recipe is paired with a beautifully styled photo of the finished treat.
Measurements are listed in US Customary and Metric. Titles are written in English and the original language when available. Each recipe has a headnote with background information, prep and cook time, yield, inspiration, helpful tips, and variations.
Gooey Fudgy Miso Brownies
There are so many incredible recipes in this book, but I was immediately drawn to the Gooey Fudgy Miso Brownies!
With only about 15 minutes of prep, these chocolate-packed bars come together easily and have a light and slightly chewy texture from the addition of glutinous rice flour.
Simply beat together the butter and sugar, then the eggs, miso, vanilla, and melted chocolate.
Fold in the glutinous rice flour and cocoa powder just until combined. Take care not to overmix. The remaining chocolate pieces are folded in last for even more chocolate flavor in every bite.
Bake the Gooey Fudgy Miso Brownies until set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes.
For a little variation, Kat recommends adding a tablespoon (15 milliliters) of tahini or nut butter to the batter.
Miso is a Japanese condiment created by fermenting soy with salt. Sometimes rice and barley are also used. There are many types of miso available.
Lighter colored misos are usually more sweet and less salty. As the color darkens, the flavor generally becomes stronger and more salty. I used a white miso (shiro miso) for these Gooey Fudgy Miso Brownies.
Glutinous Rice Flour is made by grinding glutinous (sticky) rice into a powder. It is called glutinous rice based on the sticky texture when cooked and is actually gluten-free.
For this recipe I used Mochiko, a Japanese glutinous rice flour made from sweet sticky rice. I have been able to find Mochiko in the international or gluten-free section of larger grocery stores and in markets with Japanese ingredients. It is also available on Amazon: Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour.
I also made the Monstrous Matcha Miso Cookies, Soft Crumb Ube White Chocolate Scones, Silky Black Sesame Panna Cotta, and Vietnamese Egg Dalgona Coffee.
The Monstrous Matcha Miso Cookies were inspired by Levain Bakery and definitely have that fantastic texture. The matcha-based dough is packed with chocolate chips, arranged into heaping scoops, and baked just until set.
I made the Soft Crumb Ube White Chocolate Scones while my in-laws were visiting and they were a huge hit. These buttery scones are flavored with mashed ube and ube extract to create the beautiful purple color.
My daughter picked out the Silky Black Sesame Panna Cotta after seeing the panda-shaped chocolate as a garnish. This creamy panna cotta includes quite the delicious combination of ground black sesame seeds, honey, cardamom, and vanilla.
The Vietnamese Egg Dalgona Coffee brings together two favorite coffee drinks- Vietnamese Egg Coffee and Korean Dalgona Coffee. To create the three layers, an iced glass of milk (I used oat milk) is topped with a sweetened egg mixture and the whipped coffee. It was such a fun start to the day.
Modern Asian Baking at Home is a great pick for those interested in incorporating a variety of fun ingredients and textures into your baking. The recipes are mostly sweet, but there are quite a few delicious savory options as well. Many come together in less than 30 minutes while others require longer to set, rise, or prep.
Having a market nearby with East and Southeast Asian ingredients will be helpful in locating matcha, ube, tapioca flour, dried red beans, silken tofu, butterfly pea flower powder, black sesame powder, gochujang paste, green pandan extract, and salted duck egg yolks.
Gooey Fudgy Miso Brownies Recipe
Excerpt from Modern Asian Baking at Home
Gooey Fudgy Miso Brownies
- 1/2 cup (1 stick or 112 grams) unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 medium eggs (about 3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams)
- 1 tablespoon (16 grams) miso or to taste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces (228 grams) high-quality semisweet chocolate chopped
- 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) milk
- 1 cup (120 grams) glutinous rice flour
- 1/4 cup (20 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4) and place a rack in the center.
- Line an 8 inch (20.5 centimeter)-square baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until well incorporated.
- Add the eggs, miso, and vanilla extract and mix until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. It’s okay if the mixture looks oily and gritty at this point.
- Melt half of the chocolate with a double boiler or inthe microwave in 20-second bursts. Set the other half of the chocolate aside.
- Add the melted chocolate and milk to the stand mixer and mix on low speed until incorporated.
- Sift in the flour and cocoa powder. Using a flexible spatula, fold to combine. Do not overmix the brownie mixture. Fold the remaining chocolate chunks into the batter.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Be sure to spread the brownie mixture evenly, covering every corner of the pan.
- Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes, until an inserted toothpick (or bamboo stick) comes out clean.
- Cool completely at room temperature. Slice into nine even pieces.
- Store leftover brownies in an airtight container and consume within a few days.