September 21, 2021

Castagnaccio – Typisch toskanischer Kuchen mit Olivenöl und Kastanienmehl

Castagnaccio - Typisch toskanischer Kuchen mit Olivenöl und KastanienmehlOlea Prilis

– Olive Oil Cakes by OLEA PRILIS –

To open this new column on desserts made with extra virgin oil, we can only start with castagnaccio, a typical Tuscan dessert of the peasant tradition. Most likely this is also of Etruscan origin, since the Etruscans used chestnut flour, pine nuts, raisins and, as we know, olive oil!

Chestnut flour is quite sweet on its own and for this reason sugar should not be added but, conversely we will add a pinch of salt. Olea Prilis oil with its velvety bitterness lends itself well in contrast to the sweetness of the flour and emphasizes the virtues  of this natural, nutrient plant based preparation.

Castagnaccio

Ingredients for 2 people:

  • Chestnut flour: 175 gr of chestnut flour from Monte Amiata or from an Italian mill you trust (it is important that the ingredients of the package contain 100% chestnut flour and not a mixture of other ingredients and flours)
  • Extra virgin olive oil Olea Prilis: 40 gr
  • Salt: 1 gr
  • Pine nuts: 40 gr
  • Sultana raisins: 40 gr
  • Natural mineral water: 300 gr
  • One tablespoon dry rosemary

Castagnaccio - Typisch toskanischer Kuchen mit Olivenöl und KastanienmehlOlea Prilis

Ricetta:

To begin with, let the rasins sit in a little warm water till they have revived.

Castagnaccio - Typisch toskanischer Kuchen mit Olivenöl und KastanienmehlOlea Prilis
Castagnaccio - Typisch toskanischer Kuchen mit Olivenöl und KastanienmehlOlea Prilis
Castagnaccio - Typisch toskanischer Kuchen mit Olivenöl und KastanienmehlOlea Prilis

Sift the chestnut flour with a colander, once freed of impurities we gradually add  slightly warm natural mineral water, mixing with a fork to prevent lumps from forming. The dough must have the same consistency as the batter you are used to make when preparing crepes: neither too liquid nor too thick.

Salt the mixture, pour half the pine nuts and half of the raisins previously soaked, now drained and squeezed into a sheet of absorbent paper. Add half of the oil and mix everything together.

Castagnaccio - Typisch toskanischer Kuchen mit Olivenöl und KastanienmehlOlea Prilis

Line a pan with a diameter of 23 cm with parchment paper, grease with plenty of oil and pour the mixture into it. At this point decorate with the rest of the pine nuts, raisins and a handful of dried rosemary, finish with a drizzle of oil and bake at 180 ° for 45 minutes. You can go up to an hour should you find that the preparation is still runny after 45 minutes. Halfway through cooking brush the entire surface of the cake with more oil.

Castagnaccio - Typisch toskanischer Kuchen mit Olivenöl und KastanienmehlOlea Prilis
Castagnaccio - Typisch toskanischer Kuchen mit Olivenöl und KastanienmehlOlea Prilis

My secret to a good castagnaccio is to keep its thickness low, because in this way the added oil will form a crust that makes the cake crunchy (moreover, too high a castagnaccio remains too moist and the flour brings out a bitter after taste).
Be careful though, because being too thin makes you run the risk of overcooking, so it is important to check cooking frequently as you get familiar with the type of oven being used for baking.

Castagnaccio - Typisch toskanischer Kuchen mit Olivenöl und KastanienmehlOlea Prilis
Castagnaccio - Typisch toskanischer Kuchen mit Olivenöl und KastanienmehlOlea Prilis

If you are thinking of increasing the doses for 4 people, in order to obtain a low castagnaccio, it will be sufficient to equip yourself with a pan with a wider diameter, thus maintaining a height of about 1.5 cm.

Once the cake has been taken out of the oven, it can be seasoned again with a little raw oil if it has absorbed it completely during cooking. It can also be enjoyed warm, accompanied by a little buffalo ricotta, also seasoned with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil.

Castagnaccio, the rare times in which it is not finished immediately, is also good at room temperature and will stay fresh for even more than 3 days.

Enjoy your meal!

TEXTS AND PHOTOS BY CATERINA MAZZOCOLIN
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