An Italian autumnal classic, the Castagnaccio is a gluten-free cake made of chestnut flour, olive oil, dried fruits and nuts. Served with a cup of espresso (or wine) and a drizzle of honey, it is the perfect treat on a cold afternoon.
The cake is traditionally not sweet, a bit heavy and very earthy, thanks to the chestnut flour. Tuscans are known for not having a sweet tooth, so it’s no surprise that their version takes no sugar at all, getting the sweetness from the dried fruit.
- 1 1/2 cups chestnut flour
- 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 2 tablespoons honey, plus more for serving
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cups raisins
- 1/2 cups dried cranberries, plumped in 1/4 cup warm water (or wine)
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped toasted walnuts
- Sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Prepare a 9-inch cake pan by lightly brushing it with olive oil. Reserve.
- In a large bowl, swift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, eggs and milk.
- Slowly pour the liquids into the dry ingredients, whisking very well to avoid lumps. The batter should be smooth and a bit liquidy.
- Reserve some of the nuts and fruits to sprinkle on top of cake. Add the remaining to the batter, mixing until evenly distributed.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle the nuts/fruits on top and bake for 35 minutes, or until the cake begins to puff slightly and the middle is set. Remove from the oven and cool completely before removing from pan.
- Dust lightly with confectioner's sugar and cocoa powder and serve with some warm honey.
Recipe Source: oliviascuisine.com/castagnaccio-pugliese/