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Chestnut Cake: Traditional Italian Recipe

Chestnut Cakechestnut cake

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 175 g/6 oz. / ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, softened
  • 175 g/6 oz. / ¾ cup caster/superfine sugar
  • 250 g/9 oz. canned sweetened chestnut puree
  • 3 medium/large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 175 g/6 oz. /1 ½ cups plain/all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 75 g/3 oz. / ½ cup raisins
  • 50 g/2 oz. / ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 125 g/4 oz. /1 cup icing/confectioners’ sugar
  • 5 tbsps. lemon juice
  • pared strips lemon zest, to decorate

Directions

Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2. Oil and line a 23 cm/9 inch springform tin/pan. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the chestnut puree and beat. Gradually add the eggs, beating after each addition. Sift in the flour with the baking powder and cloves. Add the fennel seeds and beat. The mixture should drop easily from a wooden spoon when tapped against the side of the bowl. If not, add a little milk.

Beat in the raisins and pine nuts. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Put in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 55-60 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin.

Meanwhile, mix together the icing/confectioners· sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan until smooth. Heat gently until hot but not boiling. Using a cocktail stick/toothpick or skewer, poke holes into the cake all over. Pour the hot syrup evenly over the cake and leave to soak into the cake.

Decorate with pared strips of lemon zest and serve.

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