Glossary Tips

Chestnut Flour

chestnut

Chestnut flour is made from chestnuts and is a Starch. It has a lighter flavor and color than whole wheat flour and since soy flour has a bitter taste if not fully cooked chestnut flour is a good substitute for soy flour in dishes that won’t be fully cooked. The bad news is that it’s expensive. Oh well, you can’t have everything.

Chestnut flour is also gluten free, good for those on a Paleo diet but should be avoided by those with nut allergies.

 

Chestnut Flour Crepes

2 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup chestnut flour
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 stick (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted, plus more melted butter for the pan

Mix all ingredients in a blender or medium bowl with a whisk. I like to do it in a blender though as it’s easier to pour into the crepe pan.

Chill the batter for at least 1 hour before using although it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Heat an 8-inch nonstick pan over medium heat. Coat the bottom and sides of the pan with a bit of melted butter.

Give the chilled batter a quick buzz in the blender or with your whisk. Pour about 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan, swirling it to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Let the crêpe cook for about 30 seconds or until it gets lightly golden. Tuck in the sides of the crepe with a rubber spatula to make it easier to flip. Using the spatula, quickly flip the crêpe over to finish cooking for about ten seconds. Transfer it to a plate and repeat with the rest of the batter. Stacking the crêpes on the plate. They shouldn’t stick together.

Once all the crêpes are cooked you can fill them with anything you like or freeze them, stacked and tightly wrapped, for up to 1 month.

 

Chestnut Cake

1/2 cup coconut or nut oil
1 cup chestnut flour, plus additional for dusting
3/4 cup hazelnuts
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup mild honey
1/4 – 1/2 cup coconut, maple or other unrefined sugar

Put your oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Toast hazelnuts in a springform pan until fragrant, about 10 to 12 minutes. Dump nuts onto a kitchen towel and use the towel to rub which removes any loose skins Some skins may not come off, that’s okay, just leave them be. Cool nuts to room temperature and chop well.

Oil the springform pan and dust with chestnut flour, knocking out excess flour into the sink.
Sift together chestnut flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, then stir in nuts.

Beat together egg yolks, oil, honey, and 2 tablespoons sugar with an electric mixer at high speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer or 8 minutes with a handheld. Add flour mixture and mix at low speed just until flour is blended in.

Beat egg whites with a small pinch of salt in another medium bowl with clean beaters at medium-high speed until they form soft peaks. Add remaining sugar a little at a time, beating until whites just hold a stiff peak.

Fold one third of whites into batter, then gently fold in remaining whites. Spread batter in pan and rap pan hard on a hard surface once to release any air bubbles.

Bake for 30 minutes, then place a sheet of foil loosely on top of pan and continue baking until a tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 10 to 15 minutes more.

Transfer cake pan to a rack and cool 30 minutes, then remove side of pan and allow to cool completely on the rack.

Remove cake from bottom of pan to serve if desired.

Cake can be served as is, dusted with cocoa powder or served with a dollop of refined sugar-free whipped cream or vanilla yogurt.

 

Chocolate Cake

10 ounces grain-sweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
15 ounces chestnut puree or cream
4 ounces unsalted butter
6 eggs, seperated
pinch of salt
1/4 – 1/2 cup coconut, maple or unrefined sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces grain-sweetened chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream, nondairy milk or brewed coffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line the bottom of a springform pan with a circle of baking parchment.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or (my favorite method) in a small bowl in the microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between.

Use a whisk or an electric mixer to blend the chestnut cream with the butter. Blend in vanilla, egg yolks and melted chocolate.

In a seperate bowl, with clean dry beaters, whip the egg whites with the salt just to break them up and until they are slightly foamy. Increase mixer speed and gradually add sugar until stiff glossy peaks form.

Fold 1/3 of egg whites into chestnut mixture and blend well. Gently fold in another 1/3 of the egg whites and then the last 1/3, blending well but being careful not to deflate the batter.

Spoon batter into springform pan and bake until done, about 35 to 45 minutes. The cake will look dry and slightly cracked on top when done while the middle will be soft but firm.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack set on top of a cookie sheet for 20 minutes. Then remove sides of pan and place back on wire to finish cooling.

While the cake is cooling you can make the glaze.

Bring the whipping cream, nondairy milk or coffee to a boil and add the chocolate. Or heat liquid in a microwave until hot and add chocolate.

Remove from heat and stir until all of the chocolate melts.

Pour glaze over cooled cake, using a spatula to spread evenly over top of cake.

Serve with a dollop of vanilla yogurt, or pureed berries or both.

 

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