Castagnaccio: Tuscan Chestnut Flour Cake

Castagnaccio is a traditional rustic Tuscan chestnut flour cake that is usually served in the fall and winter months following the annual chestnut harvest. This cake has a deep, rich, earthy flavour that is quite unlike typical cakes and desserts found elsewhere.

Castagnaccio is a traditional rustic Tuscan chestnut flour cake that is usually served in the fall and winter months following the annual chestnut harvest. This cake has a deep, rich, earthy flavour that is quite unlike typical cakes and desserts found elsewhere.

More authentic versions of this recipe do not include any form of sweetener. Instead, they rely on the addition of dried fruit to sweeten the cake.

I have added a little honey to this recipe to appeal more to an American palate. Even so, you may find Castagnaccio is a bit of an acquired taste if you prefer more sugary treats.

If you are looking for more delicious uses for chestnut flour, check out my recipe for Tuscan Chestnut Crepes with Ricotta & Honey.

 

Castagnaccio: Tuscan Chestnut Flour Cake

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 30-35 minutes | Serves: 8-10

 

Ingredients:

1/3 c. raisins, divided
2 T. fresh rosemary leaves
3 c. chestnut flour, sifted
1 2/3 c. lukewarm water
2 T. honey*
2 T extra virgin olive oil
¼ c. chopped walnuts, divided
¼ c. pine nuts, divided

*Honey is optional. Use more or less honey depending on level of sweetness desired.

 

 

Directions:

Soak raisins and rosemary leaves in a small bowl of lukewarm water. Set aside.

Position oven rack to center position. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9” pie pan with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine chestnut flour, water, honey, and olive oil with a fork. Continue stirring until a smooth batter forms. If batter is too thick, add another tablespoon or two of water to thin slightly.

Drain raisins and rosemary leaves and pat dry. Add half of the raisins, walnuts, and pine nuts to batter and stir to combine.

 

 

Pour batter into prepared pie pan and spread with a spatula to form a smooth, uniform layer. Evenly distribute rosemary and remaining raisins, walnuts, and pine nuts on top of batter.

Place pan in pre-heated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is dried and starting to crack.

Remove from oven and cool slightly before cutting into thin slices and serving. Enjoy!

 

 

Tip: For best results, sift the chestnut flour before using. If you don’t have a flour sifter, add chestnut flour to a small fine mesh strainer and gently shake over the mixing bowl to remove any clumps.

 

 

Castagnaccio: Tuscan Chestnut Flour Cake

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 10 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1/3 c. raisins divided
  • 2 T. fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 c. chestnut flour sifted
  • 1 2/3 c. lukewarm water
  • 2 T. honey*
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ c. chopped walnuts divided
  • ¼ c. pine nuts divided

Instructions
 

  • Soak raisins and rosemary leaves in a small bowl of lukewarm water. Set aside.
  • Position oven rack to center position. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9” pie pan with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine chestnut flour, water, honey, and olive oil with a fork. Continue stirring until a smooth batter forms. If batter is too thick, add another tablespoon or two of water to thin slightly.
  • Drain raisins and rosemary leaves and pat dry. Add half of the raisins, walnuts, and pine nuts to batter and stir to combine.
  • Pour batter into prepared pie pan and spread with a spatula to form a smooth, uniform layer. Evenly distribute rosemary and remaining raisins, walnuts, and pine nuts on top of batter.
  • Place pan in pre-heated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is dried and starting to crack.
  • Remove from oven and cool slightly before cutting into thin slices and serving. Enjoy!

Castagnaccio is a traditional rustic Tuscan chestnut flour cake that is usually served in the fall and winter months following the annual chestnut harvest. This cake has a deep, rich, earthy flavour that is quite unlike typical cakes and desserts found elsewhere.

 

 

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