Home > Italian Dessert Recipes > Castagnaccio Chestnut Flour Cake
Tuscan Chestnut Flour Cake
Castagnaccio is a rustic cake originated from mountainous areas of central Italy where the chestnut flour is widely used for preparation of a variety of delicious sweet and savoury dishes. During the winter time you will find this Italian treat in many cafés and pastry shops around Italy but there is nothing more rewarding than making your own castagnaccio at home.
Castagnaccio is made with chestnut flour, which is made from dry roasted chestnuts and therefore is ideal for those on gluten-free diet. The fact that chestnut flour has natural sweetness makes it ideal for reducing the amount of sugar in the recipes.
The chestnut flour has unique flavour and blending it into pie crust, cookies or sweet bakes adds nutty flavour and density.
How to make castagnaccio cake
Making castagnaccio is very easy but the quality of the ingredients is essential for the best results. First soak the raisins in cold water and toast the pine nuts on the pan. Then be sure to sift the chestnut flour as it tends to compress into lumps. Start adding water gradually to the flour and whisk until you get a smooth batter. Pour the batter into baking tin, sprinkle with raisins, pine nuts and rosemary leaves and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until the cake gets cracks on the top.
Castagnaccio is the best served with ricotta and drizzle of chestnut honey.
Useful tips for making castagnaccio
- This is traditional version of castagnaccio featuring the chestnut flour, water, pine nuts, raisins and rosemary. Some other recipes call for orange zest, pieces of walnuts or amaretti crumble and apples.
- Castagnaccio keeps well for a few days in an airtight container at room temperature. We don't recommend keeping it in the fridge as this cake would become rubbery.
- The chestnut flour has unique flavour and blending it into pie crust, cookies or sweet bakes adds nutty flavour and density.
You may also like following recipe
COOKS IN: 40 minutes
- 400 g chestnut flour
- 600 ml cold water
- 40 g pine nuts
- 50 g raisins
- 1 - 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 3 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 pinch of salt
- Soak the raising in the warm water for about 15 minutes and then drain.
- Sift the chestnut flour in a medium bowl and add a pinch of salt. Add the water bit by bit, stirring to avoid lumps.
- When smooth add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. The batter should be thicker than the one for pancakes. Depending on the flour you may need a little more or a little less water. Let the mixture rest for about 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180°C. Pour the batter into a baking pan (23 x 23 cm) lined with baking paper. It should be no more than 1 cm thick. Sprinkle the pine nuts, raising, rosemary leaves and the rest of the olive oil on the top.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until you see little cracks all over the top of the cake. Do not overbake or it will become too dry. Let cool in the pan then slice into squares and serve.
Some other recipes you would love