Castagnaccio

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Castagnaccio : Italian rustic festive cake with chestnut flour, walnuts, rosemary and pine nuts.

Castagnaccio : Italian rustic festive cake with chestnut flour, walnuts, rosemary and pine nuts.

If you prefer experiencing different tastes and flavours, especially desserts with low sugar, this Castagnaccio is the one you are looking for.


Earthy, nutty flavours with some rosemary, roasted pine nuts and walnuts make suprisigly tasty version of festive cake.
Once done, it doesn’t look like festive cakes we are used to: creamy, dreamy chocolate or fruits loaded, depending on what you and your family love. It looks more like rustic, unsophisticated cocoa pie.

The colour is brownish because of some bitter cocoa added but what you taste is chestnut with a hint of dark rum and fresh rosemary. My version includes some brown sugar and raisins to make it complete.

Castagnaccio : Italian rustic festive cake with chestnut flour, walnuts, rosemary and pine nuts.

We make chestnut desserts quite often during autumn and winter and I made a list of no bake rolls, soups and festive cakes to publish but fresh chestnut paste is not available since all pasty and coffee shops are closed and I cannot get any.

What I hope is to get some at the markets while shopping for holidays. There just may be some in their freezers and if I got that lucky I’ll make some stocks so I could enjoy sharing chestnut beauties with you !
Until then, let’s enjoy chestnut flour delicacies since I spotted a bag ( 400 grams ) in local organic food shop still opened for business.

Chestnut flour belongs to Tuscan „cucina povera“ that is everything but not poor. „Poor people dishes“ were saving peasants from starving in central Italia few centuries ago.
„Cucina povera“ ingredients are simple, traditional, home grown, healthy, rich in taste and nutritious. Chestnut flour was, and still is, made by drying and milling roasted chestnuts in millstones to get fine powdered flour for breads, gnocchi and soups.
This beautiful Castagnaccio is just one of the beautiful Mediterranean dishes made of simple gifts of Mother Nature. Let’s enjoy !

5 from 5 votes
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Castagnaccio

Castagnaccio : Italian rustic festive cake with chestnut flour, walnuts, rosemary and pine nuts.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Castagnaccio
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes
Servings 8 slices

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup chestnut flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp bitter cocoa powder + for dusting ( to taste )
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2/3 cup raisins + 2 Tbsp dark rum
  • 1/3 cup roasted pine nuts + 1 Tbsp to garnish
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 spring fresh rosemary, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 356 F.

  2. Oil rounded pan ( 9 inches diameter ) and leave aside.

  3. Combine raising and rum to soak for a few minutes.

  4. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients : chestnut flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa and salt.

  5. In another medium sized bowl, whisk oil, honey, eggs and milk. Add raisins, chopped walnuts and pine nuts. Leave 1 Tbsp aside to garnish once baked.

  6. Combine dry and wet ingredients. Whisk them together with fork.

  7. Pour the batter into the rounded pan and bake for 35 minutes.

  8. Cool completely before removing from the pan.

  9. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and garnish with chopped rosemary before serving.

 

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