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Mar 12, 2009 03:03 PM

Has anyone made the chestnut-honey cake from Oct (?) 2008 issue of Cucina Italiana?

Can't remember the specific month of the issue (October, maybe), but there is a recipe for a Chestnut-honey walnut cake (also has pears in it) and I'm wondering if it's worth it. It looks easy but it looks like it could be bland. Is it like a pound cake? Thanks.

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  1. Here's the recipe:

    Italian cakes and pastries tend to not be rich and in your face, which I guess you could call bland.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      Well, that's not exactly a ringing endorsement. I'm assuming you haven't actually made the cake, but that you're guessing it's not worth it. This cake does have a fair amount of butter in it. It seems like a pound cake. I was intrigued because I have chestnut honey on hand and wanted to use it up.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        I beg to differ Ruth! I'm not trying to pick a battle, but just for the sake of defending Italian desserts: tiramisu, cannoli, biscotti?? the first two are pretty rich indeed, and though biscotti is not in your face, the buttery texture and subtle flavors make it a very enjoyable treat. i say, make the cake!

        1. re: jhfinxy

          I agree with jhfinxy - I once had a boyfriend a long time ago who worked at Veniero's in the East Village NYC and he used to bring a box of pastries and cakes home every night from work..... oh jeez.....

          342 E 11th St, New York, NY 10003

          1. re: jhfinxy

            I have been thinking about making it for far too long to not actually make it. And since no one else has made it, I'll be doing a public service. Not to start another storm, but traditional biscotti don't have butter in them, which is why they stay so hard and crunchy. If you have one that is less crunchy and more crumbly/moist, it likely has butter in it. I think they are much better without butter. But please don't send the authenticity cops down on me, because I'm sure someone will come up with an "authentic" biscotti recipe with butter in it. Just saying I don't find their texture to be buttery---that's a term I'd apply to an American biscuit, say, or a shortbread cookie.

            1. re: bella_sarda

              Well, I made the cake, but I shouldn't have. There is clearly something very wrong with the recipe. Now I am very loath to try other recipes from Cucina Italiana. It seems this one had not enough flour and no leavening agent, so it came out dense and on the dry side, despite having an apparently excessive amount of butter---some of the butter separated out of the cake during baking and welled up around the sides, and I poured this off (about 1.5 out of 10.5 tablespoons). Maybe the butter temperature got too high before the thing went in the oven, hence the melting/separation. I used European butter, which also may have been a factor.

              1. re: bella_sarda

                wow, that's unfortunate, but thanks for sharing the results. your reasoning sounds very practical.