Richly flavored, starchy, favoured cool season nuts of the northern hemisphere….Native to hilly forest of Europe…Botanically they belong to the beech or Fagaceae family of the genus: Castenea Sativa, simply: chestnuts. They have a remarkable history to narrate and have a long-standing popularity in my extended family.
“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.” Mahatma Gandhi
From now on, however, chestnuts – for me – are being heroic, elegant, royal and unbeatable. A well-planned mixture of chestnut flour and sweet chestnut puree won me the prestigious National Cupcake Championship in the Home Baker Free From category at Cake International in Birmingham, in the form of a Gluten-free Chestnut Cupcake.
“Winning isn’t everything–but wanting to win is.” Vince Lombardi
Chestnut flour with its sweet flavor makes it a favorite ingredient for recipes involving almonds,chocolate, honey, and hazelnuts. A gluten-free product, chestnut flour is a cooking option for people with celiac disease or other gluten intolerances or allergies. Since chestnuts do not contain the fat content regular nuts have, and are instead largely composed of carbohydrates, they have many of the same properties as flour. Known as the grain that grows on trees, chestnuts have been dried and made into mellow, sweet flavored flour in Italy for centuries. In Tuscany, where it is known as Farina di Castagne, chestnut flour is considered a staple food, and it is commonly called for in recipes. Low in fat and calories, flour made from chestnuts is considered a healthier alternative to almond flour and white flour. It also generally contains less carbohydrates than white flour, making it an option for people striving to consume less of the nutrient.
Uses of the flour are endless. Chestnut flour bread, pie crust, crepes, and other baked foods can be made with the ingredient. Chestnut cake, a Corsican recipe, also calls for the flour, being available in many Corsican restaurants as a typical dessert.
“Beating the great ones, becoming a great, usually first involves a victory over yourself.” T Jay Taylor