Coffee flavoured chestnut flour pancakes

Having discovered the versatility of chestnut flour as an adequate replacement for normal flour in our baking endeavoors we have been making pancakes regularly with it.  We decided yesterday to try something different and incorporate some bold coffee flavours into the batter and are pleasantly surprised with the outcome.   We think this could work brilliantly as a dessert option with scoops of vanilla or coffee ice cream or a syrup made with Kaluha.  The pancakes have also given us an idea for a  tiramusu alternative – more once we have tried it.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 2 cups chestnut flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp  sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 2-3 tbsp Kaluha (add more for a boozy dessert pancake)
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • Butter to grease the pan
  • Pinch of salt

How much will I make?

8 medium sized pancakes depending on size

How do I make it?

Beat the egg and milk in a bowl and then add the chestnut flour and baking powder.  Use a whisk to beat further to ensure no lumps.   Add the remaining ingredients, whisk further and batter should coat your ladle.   Heat frying pan on medium heat and add a knob of butter some batter and cook on both sides,   Serve hot as a breakfast pancake or as a dessert with a scoop of coffee/vanilla ice cream.

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Spicy pancakes and prawn salad with coconut sambal

Having made some fresh coconut sambal for dinner last night we were trying to find ways to use the leftovers in our meals today.   We first used it this morning to spice up some pancakes and finished off the remaining sambal with a spicy prawn salad.  We have posted the recipe for the prawn salad in an earlier blog.   Once the prawns (marinated in blackened cajun seasoning) were cooked we added 2 heaped tablespoon of the sambal and served it on bed of rocket and ripe mango.  We’ve added the recipe for the pancakes below if you prefer savoury options for breakfast versus sweet.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 3/4 cup chestnut flour
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp sambal
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt to taste

How many will I make?

Around 6-8 pancakes depending on size

How do I make it?

Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk in the egg and milk till the batter coats the back of your spoon.   Add in the sambal and give it a good mix.  Cook pancakes on both sides with a knob of butter and serve it with some Thai sweet chilli sauce (works really well).

Gluten free penne with lamb meatballs

We tried making meatballs for the first time without the obligatory bread crumbs since going on our gluten free journey.  It turned out pretty good as we substituted the breadcrumbs with chestnut flour to act as the binding agent.   The meatballs maintained shape through the cooking process and tasted great.

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What do I need to make it?

Meatballs

  • 200 gms lean minced lamb
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tsp crush red chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 2 tsp chestnut flour
  • Handful of fresh parsley chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Tomato sauce

  • 400 gm tinned plum tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 4 small green chillies chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 2-3

How do I make it?

Place all the meatball ingredients in a bowl and knead together.   Roll the meat mixture into small balls (should get around 20) and refrigerate for an hour.   Heat a pan with some olive oil and brown the meatballs off before placing them in a 200 degree Centigrade pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes or till the meat is done.

For the sauce, heat a pan, add the olive oil followed by the garlic and bay leaves.   Stir for 30 seconds before adding the onions and green chilli.   Sweat the onions for 5-8 minutes before adding the dry and fresh oregano.   Pour in the plum tomatoes (if whole crush or chop them first) with a cup of water and simmer over gentle heat for 20 minutes.   Add the sugar and adjust the seasoning.   Once the tomatoes have cooked through, add the meatballs and garnish the dish with fresh basil and parsley.   Pour over your favourite pasta and enjoy.

Savoury chestnut flour pancakes

We have been having sweet pancakes with chestnut flour as a base and Anna has been challenging me to come up with a savoury alternative.  We had some delicious savoury pancakes for breakfast this morning and it’s worth trying if you are tired of sweet pancakes.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 cup chestnut flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 small green  chillies chopped
  • 1 small shallot finely chopped
  • Handful grated Cheddar cheese
  • Handful grated Red Leicester cheese
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Butter to cook
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How many will I make?

6-8 depending on size

How do I make it?

Use a whisk to mix the flour, egg and milk.   Once blended add the onions, chopped chilli and cheeses with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Heat a frying pan and add a knob of butter, pour in a ladle of batter and cook on both sides to a nice golden brown colour.   Enjoy on its own – we want to try it with some chilli jam or Thai sweet chilli sauce next time.

 

Gluten free almond and cherry cake

With Anna away I have caught the baking bug and been experimenting with chestnut flour in various recipes.  So far it has worked well in a coffee and walnut cake and as a base for pancakes.   I have come to the conclusion that chestnut flour is fairly versatile and is a great alternative to gluten free flour mixes.  The proof in the pudding (no pun intended) was evident when I used it with almond meal to make a almond and cherry cake.  I can’t wait for the cherry season next year to try this with fresh cherries as I think it would taste better.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 150 gms chestnut flour
  • 100 gms almond meal (ground almond)
  • 250 gms caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 250 gms softented butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tbsp hazelnut drink
  • 1 tbsp whole milk
  • 100 gms blanched almonds (toasted)
  • 200 gms glazed cherries
  • 5 tbsp cherry brandy

How much will I make?

12″ round cake

How do I make it?

Cut the cherries in half and soak in the cherry brandy.  Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer first before adding the eggs.   Add milk and hazelnut drink before sifting in the chestnut flour, almond meal and baking soda.   Keep mixing till you get a nice glossy sheen.  Fold in the glazed cherries and toasted blanched almonds.  Transfer into greased cake tin and bake in a 180 degree Centigrade preheated oven for an hour till cake is done.    I dusted some icing sugar to keep things simple but might try making a cherry brandy glaze next time.

Gluten free coffee & walnut cake

Having discovered chestnut flour a few weeks back I decided to bake with it today and replaced our normal gluten free flour mix in a coffee and walnut cake.   Net result, I think texture wise it is better and the cake is not as crumbly.  Another incentive for using it moving forward is that it is a singular flour and not a composite of many.  I searched the web for some inspiration and found that almost all the recipes for the cake are similar with slight alterations to the icing (equal measures of flour, sugar, butter and egg with personalized extras thrown in for good measure!)   Here’s my recipe for gluten free coffee and walnut cake (notice the equal measures!!)

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What do I need to make it?

  • 250 gms chestnut flour (singoda)
  • 250 gms golden caster sugar
  • 250 gms softened unsalted butter
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 1 tsp espresso coffee powder
  • 5 tbsp Kaluha
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 50 gms chopped walnuts

For the icing

  • 100 gms icing sugar
  • 1 shot of espresso

How much will I make?

12″ round tin

How do I make it?

Cream the butter and sugar first before adding the eggs.  Continue whisking before adding the flour and baking powder.  Whisk for another 5 minutes before adding remain ingredients barring the walnuts. Keep whisking till you get a nice glossy sheen – finally add the walnuts and fold them into the batter.   Pour into greased pan and place in a 180 degree Centigrade pre-heated oven for 45 minutes to an hour till cake is done.   For the icing mix the icing sugar and espresso a little at a time till you get a thick mixture.   Add more icing sugar if the mixture is too runny.   Pour over cooled cake and allow to set before slicing and serving.

Gluten free chestnut flour pancakes

We are loving the discovery of chestnut flour (singoda) which we probably never would have used had we not started experimenting with gluten free flour options.  We are still trying to perfect the sweet potato/chestnut flour “churros” but tried using the flour today to make some delicious pancakes – they are not as fluffy as traditional pancakes but taste divine.   So for all those who want a gluten free breakfast option this recipe is for you.  Enjoy!

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 cup chestnut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp fruit sugar (sweeter than normal sugar)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (we used 1/4 tsp vanilla paste)
  • Butter to grease the pan
  • Pinch of salt

How much will I make?

6-8 medium sized pancakes

How do I make it?

Beat the egg and milk in a bowl and then add the chestnut flour and baking powder.  Use a whisk to beat further to ensure no lumps.   Add the remaining ingredients, whisk further and batter should coat your ladle.   Heat frying pan on medium heat and add a knob of butte,r some batter and cook on both sides,   Serve hot with topping of your choice – we had three different toppings today – icing sugar, Greek honey and Agave nectar (amazing alternative to sugar – natural and tasty).