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Alternative Baker: Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours

Have you indulged in a golden corn flour biscuit that tastes like sunshine, or experienced the earthy sweetness of chestnut flour? Did you know teff flour smells of malted chocolate milk, and mesquite flour of freshly-baked gingerbread? Set aside your bland all-purpose flour to celebrate the compelling flavors of a wide array of nut- and grain-based alternative flours that are packed with flavor and are good for you, too. From peak-of-season fruit pies nestled in an irresistibly crunchy crust, to cookies that positively melt in your mouth, author Alanna Taylor-Tobin offers more than 100 wholesome treats utilizing easily accessible alternative grains and flours for every taste and baking level.

Now let’s get bakinglet’s reinvent dessert.

Sample recipes from Alternative Baker: Reinventing Dessert with Gluten-Free Grains and Flours

Lemon Ricotta Biscuits

These craggy biscuits are rich with butter, whole-milk ricotta and a touch of cream, and they get sweetness from sugar and a scraping of lemon zest. When warm from the oven, their delicate crumb positively melts in your mouth cooled, they have a slightly chewy texture from the ricotta. Oat and millet flours combined with cornstarch for crispness and tapioca for extensibility give them a wheaten texture and delicate taste. They tend to spread a bit more than conventional biscuits, but its the extra moisture that causes them to bake up light and crisp. These hold their shape best when chilled prior to baking, but you can bake them right away when you need biscuits in a hurry theyll just sit a bit flatter. Spread them with some softened butter and Rhubarb Preserves (page 232) for breakfast, or top them with ricotta cream, strawberries and tarragon for a sensational shortcake (page 143). Leftovers can be baked into a berry-filled bread pudding drizzled with honey (page 168).

(1 Votes)

Coconut Cream and Raspberry Tart

This tart gets a triple dose of coconut coconut flour and oil in the crust and coconut milk in the filling. Fresh raspberries perch atop a vanilla-flecked coconut milk custard, all nestled into a coconut flour crust that tastes like a cross between a macaroon and shortbread. A smear of chocolate keeps the crust crisp and pairs well with both the coconut and the berries. The whole thing is so satisfying in taste and texture that no one will ever suspect it of being both vegan and gluten-free. This crust is similar in method to the Vanilla Almond Tart Crust (page 117) but with a few differences. A bit of water is necessary to help the dough stick together when baked without, it crumbles into oblivion. Also, a light coating of cooking spray or oil is needed to prevent the stickier dough from adhering to the pan. Feel free to use this crust for any of the tarts in this book. And if you cant find fresh raspberries, top the tart with sliced strawberries, other summer berries, or Honey Candied Kumquats (page 235) instead.

(1 Votes)

Chestnut Brownies

Its always a win when an alternative flour doesnt just match its glutinous counterpart but actually bests it. Such is the case with these brownies, which are adapted from a favorite Alice Medrich recipe. Chestnut flour gives the middles a velvety texture that wheat-based brownies only dream of, and it adds its own earthy sweetness, blending seamlessly with copious amounts of butter and chocolate. If you make these, I warn you that you may be hard-pressed to ever use a more mundane flour in brownies again. That said, buckwheat and teff flours both complement chocolate and can likely take the place of the harder to find chestnut flour here. Like the double chocolate cookies on page 197, whipping the eggs with sugar adds lightness to the batter, making leavening unnecessary. The trick to the pretty tops is to have the chocolate-butter mixture fairly warm when you add it to the eggs. These keep well for up to several days. Turn them into a grown-up ice cream sundae topped with port-roasted strawberries and ice cream (page 164).

(1 Votes)

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