Chestnut Cake (Madeira Island Portugal)

Chestnut Cake (Madeira Island Portugal)

Today’s 'Nuns Valley' has a great annual celebration. Every year locals celebrate the ‘Chestnut Festival’ – a festival originated when the local parish had a surplus of chestnuts. They were then used in several culinary delights from soup to cakes and from pudding to liqueur. Nowadays, the festival is a big attraction with plenty of food, music, dancing and, of course, wine.
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Course Dessert
Cuisine Portuguese
Servings 8


  • 1 pound chestnuts
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp butter soft
  • 7 eggs seperated
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp Lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup powdered sugar optional


  • Score the chestnuts with an ex mark using a paring knife or serrated knife
  • Put the chestnuts on a small cookie sheet with one cup of water.
  • Put them in a 375° oven for 20 minutes
  • Butter, a 9 inch springform pan or 8 inch cake pan. Preheat your oven to 320°F
  • While the chestnuts are roasting, separate seven eggs.
  • Make a meringue by whipping seven egg whites with a quarter teaspoon of lemon juice at high-speed for about two - three minutes. Bring them to the stiff peak stage where the marine could stand up by itself on a spoon. Put the meringue in a separate bowl, and keep the meringue inside the refrigerator until ready for use.
  • Now in the mixing bowl, add the butter, vanilla salt, sugar, and egg yolks. Cream these ingredients together at medium speed for about three minutes.
  • Remove the chestnuts from the oven. Let them cool just enough where you could handle them. Do you want to peel the chestnuts while they were still warm- it makes it easier to peel.
  • Put the chestnut meat inside of food processor. Chop the nuts, so they are very fine.
  • Add the chopped chestnuts into the mixing bowl with the whipped egg yolks and sugar. Add 2 teaspoons of baking powder. With a rubber spatula mix these ingredients together until combined.
  • Next, add the meringue to the chestnut mixture. Gently fold in the morning to the other ingredients. Do not over mix.
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake at 320°F for 35 - 40 minutes.
  • Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Optional it could be dusted with powdered sugar, and serve with whipped cream.


YouTube chestnut festival
Chestnuts are typically harvested mid-September through November and are one of the easiest nut varieties to harvest and prepare for storage. Here's what you do:
  • Wait for the chestnuts to fall to the ground.
  • Gather up all of the nuts with open burrs. (You'll definitely want gloves for this job.)
  • Remove the nuts from the burrs. Discard any with wormholes or other signs of damage.
  • Promptly store the chestnuts in air-tight containers and refrigerate or freeze.
  • Don't shell until needed: Chestnuts will dry out within a week of being removed from the shell. Keep them fresh by shelling them right before you're ready to use them.
  • Store properly: In-shell chestnuts will keep in the refrigerator for a month or in the freezer for a year.
  • Listen for the rattle: Chestnuts that are in the shell dry out and shrink as they age. Test the freshness of chestnuts by shaking them. If you hear rattling inside the shell, they may be too dry to eat.
  • Sorting chestnuts: When sorting chestnuts, look for shells that are smooth, glossy and heavy. These will hold the tastiest nuts
Keyword chestnut cake, chestnut cookies, Chestnut recipe,, Madeira island chestnut, recpies with chestnuts,
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Portuguese / Keto / Seafood / Vegetarian / Breakfast / Dinner

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I aspire to share recipes that you and your family can enjoy while also learning about cooking fundamentals along the way. I attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, CA and now enjoy cooking as a hobby.

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