I’m not going to beat around the bush. I get to share an amazing recipe from an amazing cookbook by an amazing person with you today and I am super stoked about it. My friend Alanna, of The Bojon Gourmet, released a cookbook titled ‘Alternative Baker‘ this September and to celebrate it’s release, I made one of the recipes to share here! Well, I’ve actually made a lot of the recipes in the book already, which is saying something. This book is loaded with (100+) recipes for gluten free desserts. But it’s not one of those gluten free sweets books full of “gluten free flour blends” and maybe some almond flour. Nope. Alanna makes use of a plethora of gluten and grain free flours that should be better known and used, but most of us have not heard of (as well as plenty that we have!). I now am the proud owner and consumer of sweet rice flour, chestnut flour, millet flour, and several others that I have added to my pantry. Here’s the thing: Most of us keep our pantry’s filled with traditional, common flours, thinking that you need all-purpose flour to have your baked good come out as best it can. We think that all of those other flour options that don’t come from wheat are for those who can’t tolerate gluten and are a poor substitution for conventional flours, only to be used when there is not other option. A few years back, this was my mentality. What a darn shame. Alternative grains should be looked at as we do different varieties of fruit: all equally delicious with different flavors, textures, and colors that give beauty to a dish.
Alternative baker celebrates this mentality and for that it is among my favorite of cookbooks.
I have a lot of cookbooks. But I don’t actually cook from most of them. I look at them, thumb through them, occasionally contemplate making something from them, but really they provide my coffee table with reading material that doubles as decoration. I’ve had Alanna’s book for about a month and I’ve already made at least 5-6 things. Because not only is there a stunning picture for every recipe (this girl is a killer photographer – one of my favorites), but the recipes themselves are gorgeous, full of unique ingredient combinations that cover everything from pastries to cakes, breads to cobblers.
Choosing just one recipe to share with you was no easy task. That is, until my eyes fell on a chocolate bergamot truffle tart with olive oil and flaky salt. THAT, my friends, is what I call a dessert.
Another thing I love about this book is that it is full of variations. In this case, bergamot was definitely not going to be stocked anywhere locally, but Alanna gives an option for an earl grey version that keeps all of that lovely bergamot flavor in the tart by steeping earl grey tea into heavy cream before turning it into a chocolate-y rich ganache that gets baked in a crunchy almond/chocolate crust. If you saw my last post, you know how I feel about tea-steeped cream.
This tart is dessert perfection. Once the tart has been chilled, it is sliced, dished up, and then topped with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. The combination of crunchy nutty crust, silky rich chocolate truffle filling, whipped cream, olive oil, and salt may just be life altering. The olive oil with the chocolate is a match made in heaven. You may thing it sounds a bit strange to top a dessert with olive oil, but I assure you that it is the epitome of luxury. Mind blowing chocolate heaven.
MAKE IT. And know true happiness.
- FOR THE CRUST:
- ½ cup Blanched Almond Flour
- ½ cup Sweet Rice Flour
- ½ cup Cocoa Powder 2 tablespoons Tapioca Starch
- ¼ cup Organic Cane Sugar
- ¼ + ⅛ teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
- 5 tablespoons Butter, cold, cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- FOR THE FILLING:
- 1¼ cups Heavy Cream
- 5-6 Bags Earl Grey Tea (about 2 tablespoons)
- ⅛ teaspoon Sea Salt
- 3 tablespoons Honey or Maple Syrup
- 6 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
- 1 Egg
- TO TOP:
- ¾ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- Really good Olive Oil
- Flaky Sea Salt
- FOR THE CRUST:
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the almond, sweet rice flour, and cocoa powder with the tapioca starch, sugar, and salt. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and drizzle with the vanilla extract. Turn the mixer to medium-low and run until the dough comes together in clumps and the butter is worked through, 3-5 minutes.
- Dump the crumbs into the desired tart pan (with removable bottom) and press the dough evenly into the pan, starting with the sides and then moving to the bottom, keeping the edges square. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with the tines of a fork and freeze until firm, 15-30 minutes.
- Place the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until pale golden and firm to the touch (18-20 minutes). Remove the crust from the oven and, while it's still hot, press the sides and bottom with the back of a spoon. This will help it hold together when cool.
- Decrease the heat of the oven to 300 degrees.
- FOR THE FILLING:
- Place the cream, honey, and salt in a saucepan and heat to steaming, swirling occasionally. Remove from heat and add tea bags to the mixture. Let steep for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags, pressing on the bags to extract as much flavor as possible. Discard bags.
- Heat the cream on the stove top again until steaming hot.
- Place the chocolate in a medium-sized bowl and pour the hot cream over it. Let sit for 1 minute, then whisk gently until very smooth. Whisk in the egg, then strain the mixture through a sieve and into a large measuring pitcher.
- Pour the filling into the hot crust and carefully transfer to the oven. Bake the tart until the filling quivers gently in the center when you give it a jostle and the edges are just set, 10-20 minutes. Let the tart cool completely, then chill until firm, 1-2 hours and up to 1 day.
- TO SERVE:
- Use a large, sharp chef's knife to cut the tart into slender slices, dipping the knife in hot water and wiping it clean between slices for the cleanest cuts.
- To finish, whip the cream to soft peaks and serve slices of tart with a dollop of cream, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of flaky salt. The tart is best on the day of baking when the crust is crisp, but extras keep well, refrigerated airtight, for up to 5 days.
More Chocolate? Always. Right?