Castagnaccio with orange juice

Castagnaccio with orange juice

I have a confession to make: I hate castagnaccio!
I’ve always thought it tasted like cardboard… not that desirable! But this is a traditional cake from Tuscany and it is the quintessence of cakes for people suffering from celiac disease like my dad. As I did not like it, I made a few adds, like sugar and orange juice… purists will certainly argue about that but I think it is supertasty, so why not!?
It is also quite simple to make and bake, so let’s go.
Ingredients are:
250 grams of chestnuts flour
5 tbs brown sugar (it is about 50 grams)
1 tbs candiade orange zest
20 gr pine nuts
20 gr raisin
10 gr nuts
15 gr EVO oil
300 ml water (room temperature)
100 ml orange juice
1 pinch of salt
Rosemary to decorate
Soak to soften th raisin and the put the pint nuts into a non stock pan to toast them. As soon as they start to exude the oils turn the heat off and let them cool down.
Take a bowl and sifts the chestnut flour into it, then pour the water in and then the orange juice, and stir well to prevent lumps. Then add the sugar, the oil and a pinch pof salt.
Whisk well until it reaches a batter-like consistency.
Then add the pine nuts, the raisin and the candied orange zest.
Put the batter into a greased baking tray (about 18 cm diameter), decorate it with the nuts, some other pine nuts and rosemary, and then into the convection oven, preheated at 180 degrees and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes.
Check the cake with a toothpick (start some 10 minutes before the baking time is due) as every oven bakes differently.
The flavours of chestnuts and orange are so good together and they’ll surprise you!
It’s the perfect vegan and glutenfree cake!

Vegan muffins with carrots and nuts

Vegan muffins with carrots and nuts

Yesterday was World Vegan Day, so I thought to celebrate it with those who embraced this lifestyle I am so curious about.
Last Tuesday I had a delicious vegan dinner prepared by Chiara Canzian, a young and talented vegan and vegetarian chef, to whom I promised (well I threatened her for what matters) to steal a few of her recipies. So I think the day is just the one to start this stealing.
You may want to visit her blog
This recipe is not on her blog yet, you can find it on the book she wrote with her dad Red Canzian (he’s the bass player of the most famous and longlasting Italian pop group), called “Sano Vegano Italiano” (ed. Rizzoli). I write it down here for you, in her version (as I made some small adjustments, as I always do)
300 gr wholemeal flour
200 gr brown sugar
200 gr soy milk (I used Almond milk)
8 gr cream of tartar
8 gr baking soda
150 gr nuts (weight them without shell)
150 gr carrots
80 gr sunflower oil
a pinch of cinammon
As first thing, mince the carrots and the nuts in a blender (the carrots must be cleaned beforehand).
Then take a bowl and whisk together oil, milk and sugar.
In another bowl mix the baking powders and the cinammon with the flour.
Then start pouring little by little the mixture of liquids into the flour, and whisk it well to avoid lumps. After you have incorporated the entire liquids, mix the carrots and nuts, and whisk everything until the dough is smooth and without lumps.
Put the dough into the fluted baking cases and then bake them into a ventilated oven at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Once they’ve cooled dowm, sprinkle some icing sugar.
Tasty and easy to make!