Castagnaccio in UK: attempt n. 1


Castagnaccio is a very typical cake from Tuscany, made with delicious chestnut flour. I have decided to publish this recipe as my first one, as it reminds me the smell and the taste of my roots. It’s not easy to find chestnut flour in London, I can only say that I had some left from my last trip to Italy :-), I therefore decided to use it in a special sunny winter Sunday.

Ingredients for Castagnaccio:
Still Water: 2 cups
Chestnut flour (organic): 1 + 3\4 cups
Pine nuts: 3.5 oz
Raisins or Sultanas mix: 3.5 oz
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 4 5 spoons
Rosemary: 1 teaspoon
Salt: 1 teaspoon
Ingredients My-own-way-Orange Marmalade:
Orange: 1 or 2
Cane Sugar: a lot! (Demerara Cane Sugar would be better)
Cinnamon: 2 sticks
Cloves: 4 or 5 (Unfortunately, I haven’t got  any this time!)
Orange Juice: 1\2 cup
Crunched chilly pepper: 1\2 teaspoon
Ginger: 1\2 teaspoon

First of all I must say that to make Castagnaccio you only need 40 minutes (cooking time included) and good music, whatever you like (in my case I had a very nice listening to some London new talents that my dearest boyfriend will put on air on his radio show tomorrow…I will give you some names, but honestly I am not sure whether I can do it or not here…)
You can start turning on the oven and putting the raisin in hot water for a while (in my case I had a mixture of weird stuff I found on the 24/7 Tesco nearby my place at the very last minute…I guess it must be a mix of cranberries, sultanas, and other berries in general…)
The next step will be to sift the chestnut flour and to add the still water, previously boiled and cool down so to remove limescale traces. Remember to add the water quite slowly, as to obtain a very liquid and smooth mixture; if you don’t pay attention to this step, your mixture will go lumpy ad you will spoil your effort to find good chestnut flour in Uk 🙂
Finally, you can add pine nuts, raisins (do not forget to dry and squeze them carefully), salt, a bit of oil and rosemary. Hence, you can put the mixture in a matallic pan, covered with baking foil. Remeber to add the last part of the oil and rosemary on the top before putting the Castagnaccio in the oven at the maximum temperature.
It should be ready in 30ish minutes, but I kindly recommed you to keep on checking upon it regularly.

To do my-own-way-orange marmelade, you only need to cut the orange(s) in round thin slices and put them in a small pan with all the other ingrediends. The fire must be really low, so to avoid a burning sticky disaster. It will became soft and melted quite soon. Leave it aside for a while to let it cool down, so it will have the same consistence of a Seville Orange Marmalade.

Hope this first attempt of baking a Castagnaccio will be successfull for all of you!
Enjoy it maybe with a big cup of strong coffee, a bit of dark chocolate powder and a nice ginger candle light, so to recreate a warm Christmas atmosphere!

  1. EleonoraNW3 24 January 2012 at 19:10

    Hi AlexUK, and a very welcome here! I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun sharing your deliciuos recipes here. By the way, I’m from Tuscany too, and I understand exactly what you say about your roots and the smell and taste of Castagnaccio. Looking forward to reading your next recipes.

  2. Pizza pie 24 January 2012 at 21:27

    Hi Alex, welcome in the big Veganwiz family! I love Tuscany, but I prefer living abroad, too… The best thingh is to live abroad eating italian food… your recipe is very good and very italian! Have a nice Erasmus! 🙂

  3. AlexUK 24 January 2012 at 22:11

    Hi peeps! Thanks so much for your comments!! I can’t wait to post more recipes!
    However, I am not with Erasmus program, that was four long years ago!! Actually, I am researching. Its a quite interesting project which involves Italian immigrants. Let me know whether any of you wants to paryecipate!
    For now, good luck with your CAstagnaccio!!

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