Chestnuts are one of Autumn’s strongest food signatures and this cake, based on the traditional recipe for Castagnaccio from Tuscany is an absolute crowd pleaser. Made entirely in a food processor, half the combined dry ingredients are pressed on the base of the tin which results in a short pastry crust on which the light cake mixture bakes creating two different textures. Although rosemary is a herb most commonly associated with savoury recipes, its woody resinous flavour works very well with the sweet nutty chestnut cake and scattered toasted pine nut top. Admittedly, chestnut flour is not the easiest to source but can be found in Italian grocers or purchased online through the Australian producer Cheznuts.
70 g raisins or prunes, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes & drained
155 g chestnut flour
155 g self-raising flour
185 g cold butter, chopped
300 g soft brown sugar
1 ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 ¼ cup milk
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
¼ cup pine nuts
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 180 c. Line the base and sides of a standard 20 – 30 cm lamington tin with baking paper.
- Process the flours, salt and butter in a food processor until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the brown sugar and process until combined.
- Press half the flour mixture over the base of the tin.
- Whisk the bicarbonate of soda, milk, egg and egg yolk until combined and add to the remaining flour mixture together with the drained raisins. Pulse in the food processor until well combined.
- Pour over the base. Scatter with rosemary and pine nuts and drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil.
- Bake for 30 minutes and then place a sheet of baking paper over the top to prevent over-browning. Bake a further 10 minutes