Castagnaccio is a popular Italian cake made with chestnut flour, ideal to enjoy in autumn, as it is a traditional seasonal sweet.
Under the name of Castagnaccio we find a wonderful cake that is very popular – and one hundred percent characteristic – of the Italian gastronomy of Tuscany, as well as other areas of Italy such as Piedmont, Emilia, Liguria and the Apennine area. It basically consists of a chestnut flour cake, hence it is considered a typically autumnal dessert, since the ideal is to enjoy it and taste it between the months of November and the end of December, when the chestnut flour that we find is fresh (although today day it is possible to acquire it throughout the year, so we can make it at any time).
Among the ingredients used for its preparation we must mention not only chestnut flour, but also other essentials such as pine nuts, walnuts and sultanas. As you will discover if you dare to prepare it, it is one of those seasonal sweets whose final result and flavor you will love.
- 300 g of chestnut flour
- 5 tablespoons sultana grapes
- 5 tablespoons pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 7 dl of water
- a pinch of salt
How to make Castagnaccio (chestnut flour cake):
- Heat the water a little and, when it is warm, put the sultana grapes to soak and reserve.
- In a container put the chestnut flour and water, and undo the flour a little. Then amalgamate with the help of olive oil and a pinch of salt, and mix well until you get a homogeneous, smooth and rather fluid mixture.
- Spread around baking dish (or line it with parchment paper), pour in the dough and let it rest for about half an hour. After this time drain well and dry the grapes, spread them over the dough and do the same with the walnuts and pine nuts. Also add a tablespoon of olive oil.
- Cook in the oven for 40-45 minutes at 200 ºC, until the surface has turned not dark. Once it reaches this point it will be ready. Remove from the oven being careful not to burn yourself, and remove from the mold when it is already cold.
- Although the recipe that we propose is partly traditional, the truth is that there are those who make it without nuts, add sugar or even make a kind of rosemary sauce and add it to the dough. It is also possible to include other ingredients such as fennel seeds, orange peel or dried fruit (such as dried figs and raisins).
With what can we accompany the chestnut flour cake or Castagnaccio?
- In Italy it is common to accompany castagnaccio with chestnut honey or cottage cheese. It is also common to serve it accompanied by certain typical Italian drinks, such as vin Santo (Italian sweet wine) or novella wine.