Similar to the rustic Castagnaccio of Tuscany, this chestnut cake uses amaretti cookies and dark chocolate for a rich, aromatic dessert.
Photo G. Giustolisi
This rustic cake is similar to the Castagnaccio, the traditional yeast cake of some regions of northern Italy and Tuscany made with chestnut flour, water, oil, pine nuts and raisins. Although some ingredients are the same as a Castagnaccio my cake is different and involves the use of dark chocolate and crunchy Italian amaretti cookies (which gives a sweet aroma together with the dark chocolate). This greedy soft cake is suitable for people suffering from celiac disease because chestnut flour does not contain gluten (and is rich in carbohydrates and minerals).
- 300 g 11 oz chestnut flour
- 1 tsp organic baking powder
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 300 g 11 oz Amaretti cookies
- 400 ml 14 fl oz water at room temperature
- 2 organic large free range egg at room temperature
- 6 tbsp mild extra virgin olive oil
- 150 g 5 oz dark chocolate 60%
- 50 g 2 oz pine nuts
- pinch of sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F / gas 4).
- Sift the chestnut flour into a bowl, mix with baking powder cocoa and crushed Amaretti cookies. Add water, stirring with a spoon. Add the eggs and oil.
- Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler and add to the mixture. Grease a baking pan, add the dough and garnish with pine nuts. Bake for 30 minutes.
Veronica is a born and raised Italian. She inherited her love for travel, passion for cooking and natural, sustainable, healthy slow food from her parents. Her works have appeared in 'Vegetarian Living', 'Veggie Magazine', 'Lifestyle food', 'Australian Good Food & Travel Guide', 'Chickpea' and 'Free from Heaven', among others. She is the author of "Panini: the simple tastes of Italian style bread"; 'The Rustic Italian bakery", "The Vegetarian Italian Kitchen" and "A Modern Italian table", published by New Holland Publishers Australia.