Tuscan Chestnut Cake


And finaly here we are with te first surprise of the week! My short trip to Pisa gifted me with a mad love for this traditional tuscan sweet! So genuine and special it brings me back of centuries! We can imagine this cake to be at everyone’s reach: pine kernels and chestnuts could be taken directly from the trees, making them cheap to gather! So convenient that even poor people could afford to have a sweet in autumn!

Naturally I culd dothe same in Sardinia…but I should pass my day in wods to gather everything…and honestly it is almost impossible for me do it! So markets come to our aid even in this. I luckily found some cheap discounts that sold pine kernels at a decent price (€ 50 per kg) and the chestnut flour costs 2.89 every 500 g.

So, are we ready to start cooking? I owe this recipe to the book the Silver Spoon, the one that tought me all the basic recipes I know!

Ingredients for 6 people:

  • 300 g chestnut flour
  • 450 g water
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered rosemary
  • 25 g pine kernels
  • 50 g raisins
  • rosemary in leaves
  • salt
  • extra virgin olive oil

Everything starts putting the raisins in a bowl filled with warm water for 15 minutes. This way the pulp will gain back water becoming tastier. At the end of this time we drain them and dry them with kitchen cloth.

We take the chestnut flour and we sieve it in a large bowl together with the powdered rosemary and a small pinch of salt.We whip the flour adding bit by bit the water. It is important to add it slowly to prevent the creation of lumps. At the end we will obtain a soft cream stilla bit liquid. We use now a silicon spatula to detach the remaining flour from the bowl and we add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, mixing just a bit.

We now take a baking pan and we grease it abundantly with olive oil on both bottom and sides. We pour the chestnut cream in the pan and we evenly distribute the pine kernels, raisins and a small quantity of rosemary leaves.

we preheat the oven at 220° celsius and we cook the chestnut cake for 40 minutes!

At the end of the cooking time we let it rest for 5 minutes, then we take it out from the pan and cut it in portions. I personally cut it upside down, in order not to ruin the pine kernels and raisins on the top, making a sharper cut.

It is served best warm, maybe with a cold mascarpone cream!

Buon Appetito!

HOW MUCH IS IT? Altough the cost of the ingredients is high, the portions are high enough to make the cake cheap! The cost per portion today is € 0.60!

Italiano CASTAGNACCIO

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  1. Pingback: Castagnaccio Toscano « Marito alla Parmigiana

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