Hello chestnut cake. Who knew? Why don’t I see this everywhere, all the time? Talk about a lovely and naturally gluten free flour.
My mother frequents a tiny, hole-in-the-wall, amazing Italian import store in Los Angeles called Guidi Marcello. Sometime ago she discovered several naturally gluten free items like corn pasta, flours, and the usual meats and cheeses.
One such treat was chestnut flour. I have been experimenting now with a variety of recipes. This favorite is a cake adapted from Gourmet, 2004. Top with whipped cream or greek yogurt as I did or chestnut spread.
3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped*
1/2 cup olive oil
3 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup chestnut flour + some for dusting
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour (using chestnut flour) a 9-inch springform pan.
Toast hazelnuts until slightly browned. Rub nuts in a kitchen towel to remove any loose skins (some skins may not come off). Chop hazelnuts.
Beat together egg yolks, oil, honey, and 2 tablespoons sugar until thick and pale- several minutes. Sift together the chestnut flour, almond flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Fold in nuts. Add flour mixture to wet mixture and beat until just combined.
Beat egg whites, cream of tartar and a pinch of salt at medium-high speed until they form soft peaks. Add remaining sugar a little at a time, while beating the whites. Mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
Fold egg whites into the batter one third at a time. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake 30 minutes, then loosely cover with foil and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 10 to 15 minutes more.
Cool 30 minutes, then remove side of pan and cool completely.
*The structure of the cake will not alter if you do not use the hazelnuts. One version I opted to keep the hazelnuts out and use them as a topping instead.