This traditional rustic Tuscan chestnut flour cake is usually served in the fall and winter months following the annual chestnut harvest. It features a deep, rich, earthy flavor quite unlike typical cakes and desserts found elsewhere.
In fact, classic versions of this recipe do not include any form of sugar or other sweetener. Instead, they rely on the addition of dried fruit and chestnut flour to impart a bit of sweetness. Here, a little honey is added to offset the stronger flavors. Even so, you may find castagnaccio is a bit of an acquired taste if you prefer more sugary treats.
Tip: For best results, sift the chestnut flour before using. If you don’t have a flour sifter, add chestnut flour to a small fine mesh strainer and gently shake over the mixing bowl to remove any clumps.