A great sweet and savory dessert for the cold winter months is the traditional castagnaccio. This chestnut flour cake has a thicker consistency, kind of like a sweet bread. This dessert is typically found in the regions of central Italy, but also on the French island, Corsica.
It’s a great after dinner treat to pair with a sweet wine like a French Monbazillac or an Italian Vin Santo. Or you can have a slice also for breakfast.
Our version is traditional but with a twist. Instead of using white or brown refined sugar, we used pure 100% maple syrup to sweeten. It worked out great, but you can also use honey if you prefer.
Our castagnaccio has no wheat flour or refined sugars and is dairy free.
We got the chestnut flour from Le Regine, a beautiful village nearby Abetone, on the Appennini mountains.
What you need:
- 500 g of chestnut flour
- 70 g of raisins
- 50 g of chopped walnuts
- 30 g of pine nuts
- A few leaves of rosemary
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2.5 tbsp of pure maple syrup or honey
- 1 tsp of salt
In a large bowl mix the chestnut flour with a few cups of cold water, be sure to gradually add the water while mixing. Don’t be afraid to use your hands to mix.
Once all the lumps are out of the mixture and you have reached a fluid, runny consistency, you can mix in the raisins, salt and maple syrup.
Grease a baking pan or sheet (1 to 2 cm thick) with olive oil and the pour in the mixture.
Garnish on top with walnuts, pine nuts, rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil.
Pre-heat oven to 180°C and bake for 20 -25mins.
Castagnaccio garnished with walnuts, pine nuts, rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil before going in the oven.
Let cool, and then cut into thin slices and serve with ricotta cheese mixed with a bit of sugar, or a good Monbazillac.
We recommend with castagnaccio
Château Saint- Christophe Monbazillac
This wine is made with Sémillon, Sauvignon blanc and Muscadelle grapes, and is from the area of Bergerac, near to Bordeaux.
It’s very shiny and brilliant with a golden colour. It has an intense scent with notes of saffron, fruits, and minerals.
You can also taste some candied peaches, candied citrus, vanilla with a slight background of honey.
Monbazillac chateau Saint Christoph.