Karen’s Chestnut Flour and Honey Rosemary Cake with Pine Nuts
Good ole Kaz again. It’s starting to get creepy, I know..
I made this unusual cake tonight and the flavour’s kinda hard to explain. The chestnut flour gives a lovely full, rich flavour and the rosemary gives it some savouriness (?) but it’s good alright. I thought it wouldn’t be something the kids would come at, but they both loved it. I served the kids with a dollop of yoghurt and drizzled with honey and ours with crème fraîche. You only need a small piece, so it’ll last the week, which is great.
I have to admit tracking down chestnut flour wasn’t all that easy. Tried the health food shop, nup, the supermarket, nup. Finally found it at our local Italian deli and they said “of course” when I asked for it, so perhaps it is an Italian “thing”. Anyway, I was getting ready to substitute almond meal which I’m sure would be fine too, but if you can get your hands on the chestnut flour, it’s really worth it as the flavour is really unique. I would have said a nice “adult” cake for afternoon tea but seeing it’s popularity with the kids, I’m not so sure now. Either way, it’s a good ‘un.
220 g chestnut flour
80 g self-raising flour
2 tsp salt
185 g cold unsalted butter
160 g brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp bi-carb
185 ml milk
185 ml water
1 free-range egg, plus 1 extra egg yolk
4 tbsp floral honey (I didn’t have floral and it was just as good)
1 sprig rosemary, leaves finely chopped
80 g golden raisins, plumped in hot water
30 g pine nuts
finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a 20 x 30 cm cake tin with baking paper.
Mix the flours, salt and cold butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the brown sugar and process until combined.
In a bowl, whisk together the bi-carb, milk, water, egg, egg yolk and honey. Add half the rosemary to the beowl along with the raisins. Fold through the flour mixture. (I found when I did this it just didn’t combine very well, but it worked out just fine.) Pour the batter into the tin and scatter with pine nuts, remaining rosemary and orange zest then drizzle with the olive oil and bake for 40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. (Mine took at least an extra 10 mins, so it will depend on your oven. It’s also a very moist cake so I reckon it’s fine if you get quite a moist crumb on your skewer.) Check the cake halfway through cooking time and cover with foil if it’s getting a bit dark (mine was).
Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin. Serve as it is, or with a smear of mascarpone, crème fraîche or yoghurt and drizzle a little more honey if you like.