Chestnut flour is used in Europe, and especially in Italy for many beautiful cakes and sweets. The traditional method of drying chestnuts is in a small hut with a slat floor. The fresh nuts are placed in the top section on top of the slatted floor and a fire is lit in the lower level to create heat to dry the nuts. Once the chestnuts are dried they are peeled and milled.
Often the Italian chestnut flour will taste slightly smokey due to this process and will be light brown colour which reflects the presence of the inner skin which could not be fully removed prior to milling.
The Australian version is tastier because they freeze dry their peeled chestnuts. They take these freeze dried nuts and mill them into chestnut flour which has an intense pure fresh chestnut flavour. As it’s made using peeled chestnuts, there is no contamination form the inner skin of the chestnut & not smokey taste. It’s high in Vitamin C as the chestnut isn’t compromised as there is not heat involved during the drying process.
Replace plain flour 1:1 with chestnut flour for a gluten free alternative,