The Tuscan Castagnaccio
The castagnaccio is a typical cake from Tuscany, but more in general from Italy where chestnuts are part of the local food cultural. Marradi is the town of the Marron Buono di Marradi, a fine and big chestnut’s species.
In the past, the castagnaccio cake was a typical Carnival cake, together with frittelle di riso, cenci and berlingozzo. Nowadays at Palazzo Torriani, the castagnaccio is kind of comfort food, prepared during winter time for family and friends. This is the recipe by Anna Maria Torriani, coming from the cookbook of legendary Cuoco Martino.
Ingredients for castagnaccio:
The castagnaccio is a gluten-free cake and every Tuscan family has its own recipes, therefore the quantities of pine nuts, walnuts, and raisin vary according to personal taste. At Palazzo Torriani we like it rich in dried fruits.
We recommend to prepare a liquid mixture, as for the crepes: first off sift the chestnut flour and gently pour the cold water until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Add the orange juice and grated peel, together with the 2 spoons of oil and mix. Leave it in a cold place for at least 1 hour.
Take a large baking tray, put some olive oil on the bottom and pour the mixture until it’s about a finger thick. Now it’s time to add the dried fruits and the rosemary; add some extra virgin olive oil on top. Bake into the oven for about 40-50 minutes at a temperature of 180-200 degrees: the castagnaccio is cooked when the top is gold, crusty and cracked.