6 tricks for a perfect chestnut cake
6 tricks for a perfect chestnut cake
Castagnaccio is one of the most popular desserts of autumn tables: a poor recipe that requires some tricks for a perfect result.
It is the autumnal dessert for adults with that color that recalls the notes of chocolate, but which actually reveals a slightly bitter and pungent flavor. The chestnut cake is a recipeFew ingredients are not exempt from the risk of ruining everythingwhich is born simple, poor in ingredients – only chestnut flour, sugar, dried fruit, oil, water and rosemary – and absolutely free of eggs, butter and yeast. Perfect, therefore, for vegans and celiacs , but not only: the castagnaccio is for all those palates who appreciate the rustic and genuine flavors that transmit energy and substance. However, the few ingredients could betray a general simplicity of realization, when in reality the final result that we appreciate so much is not at all obvious . The unmistakable texture – soft inside and crunchy on the surface – as well as the perfect balance between tastes at the limit between sweet and savory are obtained only by observing a few little trickswhich, once learned, will make you the undisputed magicians of the perfect castagnaccio. Here they are.
- Beware of dried fruit. Castagnaccio is made up of few ingredients, which is why it is necessary to choose quality and use them following some small precautions. Dried fruit gives the castagnaccio flavor and curious notes of texture, therefore, it deserves a separate discussion. Consider about 40 g for each type – raisins, pine nuts and walnuts – reserving a different type of processing for each . The raisins should be soaked in strictly not cold but lukewarm water for about ten minutes, squeezed very well and only half added into the dough. The pine nuts, on the other hand, will be toasted on the fire until they begin to brown, while the walnuts – to be added only at the end – you can keep them natural trying to keep the kernels intact.
- Water and flour: respect the right proportions. The chestnut flour- based dough requires some extra attention on the exact proportion to be observed with respect to the addition of water and other ingredients. The high absorbency of this type of flour requires that the quantity of water must always be double compared to its total quantity. Regardless of the recipe you follow, always keep this proportion in mind: double dose of water compared to that of flour . Obviously, if you notice that the dough remains too liquid you can add, from time to time, 50 ml of water until it reaches the perfect consistency.
- A soft texture like velvet. It is neither an exaggeration nor an excess of scruple: the final castagnaccio dough must be perfectly soft, velvety and fall like a ribbon when poured into the pan. To succeed in the enterprise you must first of all sift the flour carefully and mix it with the water – adding it little by little – with the help of a whisk and with delicate and continuous movements. Eliminate any lump that you come across : in this case cooking will only worsen the final result.
- Oil and rosemary before baking. To keep the softness of the dough intact even during cooking, it is essential to grease a low pan – preferably in tinned copper – with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil: in this way you will avoid the chestnuts sticking to the edges and bottom of the pan. pan during cooking. Pour the mixture very gently until it reaches a centimeter from the edge and complete the surface by distributing a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and a generous spoonful of oil to further soften the dough.
- Cook yes, but not too much. In order not to ruin the perfect dough that you have obtained you will have to be very meticulous during the cooking phase. Preheat the oven to 180 ° C in static mode and bake for about 20 minutes, checking frequently without ever opening the oven . Remember that castagnaccio is a rather low cake, without yeast, which must in any case be very soft and moist inside: the risk of it being burnt is just around the corner. When you begin to notice the first cracks on the surfaceit will mean that your castagnaccio is ready to be baked. However, do the test of the toothpick to avoid that the inside is still too liquid. In this case, you can continue cooking for a few minutes by covering the surface with a layer of aluminum to prevent it from drying out too much.
- Cool before serving. Take your castagnaccio out of the oven but don’t serve it right away . Let it cool for at least an hour at room temperature in order to stabilize flavors and texture. It would be even better to serve it the day following the day of preparation. Furthermore, once it is cold, it will also be easier to cut it – into slices or small squares – and accompany it with a good glass of red.