Orange cake with caramelized chestnuts. A cake which includes two of my favorite winter ingredients, orange and chestnuts.
Do you like chestnuts? I love them. Especially grilled on a traditional wood stove. I don’t know if it’s just their taste that makes me love them or above all the memories coming with them.
As a child, during cold months I can remember that the chestnuts were never missing from our table. How could they? You see, I grew up in a mountainous area surrounded by an amazing forest. A morning stroll in the colorful mountain of my hometown Florina was enough in order to gather the necessary quantity. You only needed a stroll in the mountain and an old fashioned stove. These stoves where you can hear the sound of the woods burning and instantly your heart is warming up.
I can recall my grandmother holding a wooden tray full of chestnuts and a tin plate by her side. She was taking the chestnuts one by one and engraving them slightly. And then partially arranging them on the top of the stove. I was always impressed by the fact that she didn’t use anything to turn the chestnuts on the other side. With calm moves and with a lot of coolness she was carefully removing from the stove the hot chestnuts. Without burning, without making any sound of pain or inconvenience.
They say that our body has the ability to adapt to external conditions over time in order to protect itself. My grandmother wasn’t a woman living in the big city. She lived in a small mountainous village and she was a farmer. During her life her hands had done a lot of work and thus they became pain resistant. Either in the stables or in the veggie garden, for instance. Thus, getting hot chestnuts off the stove was nothing for her. I think she didn’t even could feel the temperature.
SHOULD THE CHESTNUTS BE BOILED?
Before you start this amazing sauce, you should have boiled the chestnuts. The process is simple as described below. Score the chestnuts with an “X” deep enough to cut through the outer skin. Boil them in a saucepan with plenty of water. Boil for about twenty minutes, until softened. Pour the content of the pot into a drain. While the chestnuts are still warm peel them. Chestnuts are very easy to clean when warm. If cool, put them back in the pot with water and warm them slightly.
Is the addition of chestnut necessary?
If chestnuts are not one of your favorite ingredients, then you can skip it. This particular orange cake is very fragrant and delicious so you can enjoy it plain.
Orange cake with caramelized chestnuts
- 150 gr butter
- 150 gr granulated sugar
- 3 eggs, medium
- 180 gr all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- orange zest from 2 oranges
For the caramelized chestnuts
- 100 gr chestnuts, boiled and chopped
- 50 gr granulated sugar
- ¾ tbsp butter
- pinch of salt
For the caramelized chestnuts
- In a non-stick pan put the sugar and chestnuts on high heat at first and stir. Then lower the heat to medium until the sugar begins to thicken.
- Add the salt and butter and when it melts, remove from the heat. Spread the chestnuts in a greased pan and leave them to cool.
For the cake
- Preheat the oven to 175°C air and grease a 23cm loaf pan.
- In the bowl of the mixer, at medium to high speed, beat the butter together with the sugar for about 5 minutes, until fluffy.
- Add the eggs to the bowl, one at a time.
- Then add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange zest.
- At the end add 3/4 of the caramelized chestnuts and mix with a wooden spatula.
- Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and spread the remaining chestnuts on top.
- Pour the mixture into a prepared cake pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 175°C fan, for 45-50 minutes or until a clean knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Set aside to cool for 10 minutes inside the loaf pan, and then unmold.
I would be thrilled to hear from you. Even more, if you make my recipe and post a photo of it. Just don’t forget to share your photo under the hashtag #tetisflakes. Please do not hesitate to comment below or contact me on Instagram, or Facebook or Twitter!
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