Quite the wholesome dessert, Tuscany's traditional Castagnaccio is truly a wonder that everyone who adores chestnuts as much as we do will agree: remarkably delicious for such a straight-forward cake recipe.
Because Castagnaccio is made with chestnut flour, available throughout the year, you could in theory prepare this tasty dessert recipe anytime you wish - for us here, it's the clear signal that Fall has arrived. Aromatized with the heady pine scent of rosemary and pine nuts, when you have a slice of this tender, moist cake, your taste buds will be in for a new surprise. A good one, of course!
Born originally in Tuscany, this dessert has exploded in popularity, with different variations produced in just about every region in Italy. Each region has its own final result, some sweeter than others, some with raisins and chocolate, but we tend to prefer and idolize our original version, just bordering on savory thanks to gorgeous extra-virgin olive oil, but ever so exquisite thanks to its texture and aroma. What version do you think your loved ones will cherish the most? Experiment as you follow along with us, and find out what tickles your family's taste buds the most.
Prepare the chestnut flour cake batter
In a medium mixing bowl, add chestnut flour, a pinch of salt, and granulated sugar. Mix well.
Add water, milk, and extra-virgin olive oil to dry mixture, and blend thoroughly with a heavy-duty whisk.
Bake the chestnut cake and serve
Preheat oven to 150C. Cut parchment paper to size in baking pan. Oil your pan well.
Pour chestnut cake batter into prepped baking pan, and sprinkle with pine nuts and a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary.
Bake at 150C for the first 20 minutes. Increase heat to 200C and cook another 20 minutes, or until done.
Remove from oven, and cool. Cut into wedges and serve.