Poor man’s chestnut cake (Castagnaccio)
Clicking on equipment pictures takes you to Amazon where you can buy the items. We get a small revenue share of anything you buy which helps keep the site running.
- 375 grams (13 oz) Chestnut flour (quantity available in the pack)
- 570 grams (1 pint) Water
- 50 grams (2 oz) Extra virgin olive oil (see note below)
- 75 grams Pine nuts (also known as pine kernels)
- 125 grams (5 oz) Sultanas
- A pinch of salt
- A couple of small sprigs of rosemary
Note: use 25 g (1 oz) of the olive oil into the initial batter and the remaining 25 g (1 oz) for the final finish, before putting the cake into the oven.
- Soak the sultanas in a small bowl of water, for about an hour. Remove some tiny little sprigs from the main sprig (10 for a mild flavouring, 20 for a strong flavouring).
- After one hour soaking in water, drain the sultanas, set aside and discard the water.
- Add the 570 g of water (1 pint) into a large bowl.
- Add half of the olive oil to the water.
- Add a pinch of salt to the water.
- Start whisking.
- Slowly, add the flour into the bowl, a bit at a time, while whisking. I have only two hands! one for the bowl and one for the camera; which explains why the whisk is still…..you should be whisking vigorously.
- This pictures shows the stage where I have added about 50% of the flour. I whisk making sure that there is no lumps before adding the remainder of the flour.
- Now, that all the flour has been added to the bowl, the batter should have reached a medium consistency (not too loose).
- Next, add the sultanas to the batter.
- Then, add the pine nuts to the batter.
- Give the mix a good stir.
- Coat a cake tin with olive oil. I have used a 22 cm (8 3/4") wide cake tin.
- Pour the mix into the cake tin.
- Leave the mix to level itself for few seconds. Do not bang the tin down against the working surface; it will send the sultanas and the pine nuts to the bottom.
- Scatter the remaining olive oil all around the surface of the mix.
- Place the tiny rosemary sprigs over the surface of the mix.
- Place the cake tin into a pre-heated oven and bake for 35 minutes at 190°C (375°F). My oven is fan assisted.
- The castagnaccio is ready. Remove from the oven and transfer it onto a plate.
- This is how it looks after the baking.
- Have a slice with an espresso coffee.Enjoy!
- If you have found it a bit too bitter for your taste, dust the castagnaccio with a bit of icing sugar, but not too much.