Castagnaccio (Chestnut Cake)
600g chestnut flour
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Sift the chestnut flour into a mixing bowl and gradually add 800ml of
water, whisking continually to avoid lumps forming, until you have a smooth
paste, neither too runny nor too thick, but forming ribbons when it falls
from the spoon. Soak the raisins and squeeze out the excess water. Add two
tablespoons of oil, a pinch of salt, the raisins, pinenuts and shelled
walnuts to the batter. Pour the mixture into a shallow, greased baking tray
(the cake should only be about 1cm high), sprinkle some rosemary leaves on
top and drizzle a tablespoon of oil over. Put in the oven for thirty
minutes. Leave aside for about half an hour before serving as the cake
should be eaten either tepid or cold. For many centuries chestnuts were
part of the staple diet in mountainous and hilly areas and for the poorer
classes in general as they provided an inexpensive form of nutrition. The
original, Florentine version of castagnaccio, which is also known as
migliaccio (black pudding) in some parts of Tuscany, had only pinenuts in
it. This recipe is a combination of traditional recipes from both Pistoia
and Lucca which I find slightly tastier.
* Preparation time: 20 minutes.
* Cooking time: 30 minutes.
* Standing time: 30 minutes.
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