Disclosure: I’m so happy to be able to give you all a peek into Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor-Tobin. Thanks for letting me share this beautiful cookbook with you!
Little known fact about me: I spent almost 2 years cooking and baking exclusively gluten-free.
This was back in my California days. And it wasn’t for my own benefit. But for a man that I was with at the time. I was determined to be the “good girlfriend” and make him all the things that he had enjoyed in his younger years, but had to forgo since excluding gluten from his diet. So with the help of the internet and the local hippie-dippy market (which at the time was the best place to find gluten-free products), I armed myself with a pantry full of alternative flours and got to work. I spent endless hours in the kitchen. And we indulged ourselves in all my creations.
But those days are very far away now. That man is gone. And with his exit, so went the dozen bags of flours that had taken up residency in my kitchen. I returned to my usual baking ways (albeit for the occasional use of almond or hazelnut flour in a recipe). And eventually, all the other parts of my life returned to normal as well.
Truth be told, I did enjoy my walk on the gluten-free side of life. Sure, gluten-free baking can intimidating at times. But it can also open up a brand new world of flavors and textures. And recently, I’ve found myself kind of missing that. So with a copy of Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s new cookbook, Alternative Baker, firmly in my hands, I’m taking the plunge again.
Alanna is one of the sweetest blogging friends that I have. She is soft-spoken, silly, genuine and humble. And I knew I would love her before I even met her in person. Oh and let’s not forget to mention how amazingly talented she is in the kitchen and behind the camera. Like, I want to cry when I look at her beautiful cookbook and blog. It’s just too lovely to even process sometimes.
I knew right away when I spotted her recipe for this Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Tart that it would be the first thing I would make from Alternative Baker. I’m a big fan of pecan pie, but sometimes it can be too cloyingly sweet, even for me. Alanna’s recipe, however, hits just the right balance of tart and sweet. With enough chocolate to keep any chocoholic very satisfied. The gluten-free tart dough comes together easily enough. And Alanna gives lots of tips and tricks so you’ll be sure to nail it on your first attempt. This is definitely one dessert to put on your Holiday baking list!
Check out Alanna’s adorable trailer of her cookbook on over on her blog. And pick up a copy of Alternative Baker today!
Reprinted with minimal adaptations from Alternative Baker. Copyright © 2016, Alanna Taylor-Tobin.
It’s hard to pick a favorite Summer fruit or vegetable. Each week it seems like I have a new obsession.
I started off the season by eating my weight in cherries (and I have the stained cutting board to prove it). Then I quickly moved on to plowing through buckets of blueberries and shucking enough local corn to make my fingers sore. Now I’m all about the heirloom tomatoes. Their jewel tones and sometimes silly, oddball shapes make me smile. And at the moment, their flavor is superior to just about everything else at the farmer’s market.
Heirloom tomatoes are like the prize at the end of the Summer. They’re our reward for sweating through the hazy, hot and humid days of June and July. And I, for one, have my eye on the prize.
This Heirloom Tomato and Hazelnut Galette puts these Summer beauties front and center. Both literally and figuratively. I definitely recommend trying to get your hands on a mix of different varieties, because this will give you the greatest visual impact. But if you can only find a single variety, that’s perfectly fine. Heirloom tomatoes come in a wide range of sizes. I used 3-4 medium sized heirloom tomatoes for this recipe, but you may need more or less depending on their size. You’ll want enough slices to create two layers that loosely overlap each other.
Galettes are suppose to be rustic. It’s normal for them to turn out a little lopsided. And maybe even crack on one side. It’s all part of their charm. And it’s why I love them so much. I’ve never been the best at constructing beautifully crafted baked goods. Freeform is certainly more my style.
There is one unexpected ingredient here: hazelnut butter. I got the idea for idea for combining hazelnuts/hazelnut butter with tomatoes from a salad I had a Saint Dinette. It might sound like an odd combination. But it works really well. You can find hazelnut butter with the other natural nut butters in your grocery store. Be sure to purchase a plain, unsweetened variety (not chocolate flavored!). Or you can easily make your own if you have high powered blender or food processor. And for a third option, you could swap out the hazelnut flour/butter for something of the almond variety.
Recipe for the dough adapted from Smitten Kitchen