Chestnut flour pancakes

The love affair with chestnut flour continues and we are tinkering with different flavour combinations to our standard pancake mix (one cup chestnut flour, one cup milk, one egg and one teaspoon baking powder).  Over the last week we have made two versions, one savoury and one sweet.   For the savoury option we added a pinch of salt, one teaspoon of English mustard, some chopped spring onion, fresh coriander, 1 Thai red chilli and a handful of a blend of 4 cheeses.   The subtle taste of the mustard made it quite delightful.   For the sweet version we added one tablespoon of smooth peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of Nutella and  1/2 tsp of vanilla extract.  This was equally delightful but then again we don’t think one can go wrong with Nutella in any sweet dish!

Mustard and four cheese pancake

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Peanut butter and Nutella pancakes

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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.

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).

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.