As you might remember from a recent post, I was looking forward to playing with what was left of my precious chestnut flour, born and raised in Corsica, matured in Paris, and lovingly transported all the way to Kansas, USA.  Celia, my dear virtual friend who blogs at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, urged me to try her chestnut brownies, so on a warm Tuesday evening, I went right to work. By the way, these are gluten-free, so if you have allergies or other wheat-related-issues, go ahead and indulge!


(from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial)

90g (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
225g (8oz) 50 – 60% cacao semisweet chocolate (I used Zoet 57%)
150g (¾ cup) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
40g (¼ cup) chestnut flour (sifted)
150g (1 cup) chocolate chips (you can substitute toasted walnuts, same amount) 

Heat oven to 175C/350F or 160C/320F with fan.

Measure out all your ingredients and have them ready to go.  Line a 20cm (8″) baking pan with parchment paper.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, then add the chocolate and stir over low heat until melted and smooth.  Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla until combined.

Stir in the eggs one at a time.  Add the sifted chestnut flour all at once and stir vigorously until you can feel the batter “snap”. The batter starts out grainy and fairly loose.  As you beat it by hand, it will initially feel like nothing is happening, and then it will suddenly feel a bit stiffer – that’s when you’ll know a state change has occurred.  This might take one minute, or it might take several.  Stop occasionally to check how it’s going. Unlike true fudge, it’s not a huge “snap”, but the texture will definitely change noticeably – it will feel stiffer, look smoother, and pull away from the sides and bottom of the pan.

Gently stir in the chocolate chips (or walnuts).

Scrape the batter into the lined pan and smooth out the top.  Bake for 25 minutes until just firm.   Do not over-bake. Allow the brownies to cool completely before lifting them out of the pan and slicing.


to print the recipe, click here

It is not very easy to find chocolate with less than 60% cocoa where I live, but one store carried Zoet, a brand I had never heard of.  So, that’s what I used, and the brownies turned out delicious! My beloved husband is very hard to please as far as brownies are concerned (and cakes, and muffins, and pies – I’m clearly a martyr), but he was totally in love with them, and insisted I should write an email to Celia right away to say “Phil is giving these brownies two thumbs waaaaay up“.


We started the morning savoring a piece with our cappuccino – can you recognize perfection when you see it?  That was it.  The rest of the batch was offered to our colleagues at the department. That Wednesday started gray and rainy, a bit on the cold side, but I hope the  brownies helped face it with a smile. Did you notice?  Baked them on a warm Tuesday evening, served them on a cool Wednesday morning… that’s Kansas spring in all its glory… 😉


And now it’s celebration time!  I was recently nominated by Tuscas Värld for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award.   I love dragons, I think they are a good match for a bewitching site, don’t you agree?


The rules for the award are simple, you have to link back to the blogger who nominated you – done! – post the logo on your site – done! – and tell 7 interesting things about yourself.  Not sure they will be that interesting, but here they are:

1. Every time I see a recipe with a title that starts with “Healthy”, I roll my eyes to the ceiling. Every. Single. Time.

2. I pay as much attention to movie reviews as I do to wine ratings: none. 

3. I went through a phase of intense fear of flying that lasted for a couple of years.  I managed to get over it, but a little turbulence still sends me into panic mode. Interestingly enough, I would love to learn to fly a plane. It’s all about control, I suppose…   (sigh)

4. If I had to choose between having a root canal or going to a live performance by Celine Dion I would set the dentist appointment right away.

5. I don’t like to be away from Phil, a trip without him has no appeal for me whatsoever. Even if it involved Paris.

6. We started watching Breaking Bad (disclosure: 90% of the time I say Baking Bread) a couple of weeks ago and we are hooked!  For other fans of this amazing series, take a look at this letter from Anthony Hopkins to Bryan Cranston. Awesome!

7. I am terrified of heights, but this video mesmerized me!  Phil and I watch it over and over. The song is great, the people super cool… It’s decided: on my next life I won’t be a wimp! 😉

 Again, thank you for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award, I do realize that I should pass the award for other 15 bloggers, but as I explained in the past, I do not forward awards, I hope it’s not a serious drawback.   One of the ways I like to show my appreciation for bloggers is doing what I just did in this post: cooking a recipe from their site.

 Celia, thank you for the constant inspiration not only in cooking, but through your approach of “Living well in the urban village”. You do that like a pro!


ONE YEAR AGO: Quinoa with Cider-Glazed Carrots

TWO YEARS AGO: Celebrate Wednesday: Heirloom Tomatoes Steal the Show

THREE YEARS AGO: Pain de Provence

FOUR YEARS AGO: Golspie Loaf, from the Scottish Highlands


  1. Sally, you KNOW I adore you, don’t you? Not only did you try the recipe, you went out of your way to make sure you had the right chocolate to make it work. You’ve baked them to perfection! And the Handsome Stud loved them!! Thanks darling.. xx

    And congratulations on your Dragon Award. Know exactly what you mean in point 5, I don’t like having trips away from Pete either! xx


    • (sigh) Well, “Handsome Stud” is very happy with his title… walking around the house with that big smile…

      He just informed me he will go play golf with his friends and shall be back in time for lunch with his wife, maybe she could bake another batch of chestnut brownies for The Handsome Stud. (sigh, sigh, sigh) – see what you did?

      Oh, well


  2. Hi, I love chocolate brownies, and I try to cook gluten free if I can.

    I was just wondering about the taste, with only 40g of chestnut flour, I mean does the chestnut flavour come through? I noticed you didn’t add any walnuts or any other nuts, would you consider adding chestnuts or chestnut puree to this recipe? to enhance the nutty flavour…


    • You would be surprised how powerful that flour is, just the smell is amazing, and it does impart chestnut flavor. I think the idea behind using so little flour is to achieve the perfect fudgy consistency – now, you can add nuts OR chocolate chips, not both. I am not too fond of nuts in brownies, but I know I am in a minority – I like the overall smoothness of it, and to me a piece of nut distracts from the texture I love. But pieces of roasted chestnuts could be delicious here, in fact they have a softer texture that could go well here. Worth a try!


  3. These brownies look incredibly fudge-y & rich! They’ll be added to the desserts we always have at family get-togethers. Thank you SO much for sharing the recipe and introducing me to a new website too.

    Linda Texas



  4. Decadent and moist brownies!! These will be thebest way to start the morning. Congrats on the award. And I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only own who rolls my eyes at healthy titles lol!


    • 🙂 The rolling of the eyes… yes, glad I am not alone. Of course, I do have a few recipes on my site that start with “healthy’ or that I describe as “healthy” – but for the most part I avoid doing that.


    • Glad you enjoyed it! Not very easy to come up with seven things, especially because I had to do similar lists in the past and did not want to repeat stuff. how interesting can a person be? Hard work figuring it out.


  5. Congratulations on the award.

    That chestnut flour sounds pretty adaptable to regular (bread) and sweet dishes and the brownies look nice and ‘fudgy’. I’d try a piece with a big glass of milk … just for a comparison to regular flour brownies, of course. 🙂


  6. Gotta get me some of this elusive flour, it sounds amazing. As for Breaking Bad….don’t get me started. One of my all-time favorite shows. Now that it is off the air, my latest TV addiction is Mad Men….another addictive watch, I am just starting season 4 on Netflix. Off to read that Anthony Hopkins letter.


    • Ha! You too! Well, we are on episode 26 now, slowly inching our way through the series – I simply cannot believe how well the characters are portrayed – .no black and white, it’s all shades of gray. Good guy, bad guy, no all human beings, resisting any clear labels.

      awesome show


  7. Good golly, Miss Sally! Do these ever sound good. I’m sending the recipe to my GF chocoholic friends. While I wait for their replies of praise, I’ll be out searching for chestnut flour.
    Congratulations are in order, too, for your award. This is great and you’re certainly worthy of the recognition. Wasn’t that some letter that Sir Anthony wrote? I’ve no idea how often these letters are written but it’s nice to know that they are. As for that sky jumping video, that wasn’t part of a fashion tour, was it? I’d hate to think I was going to Ferragamo’s and end up being shoved off of a cliff.


    • John, if someone would shove me off a cliff like that, let me tell you, I would not go in style and elegance like those girls – you know, I ve never been to a big roller coaster. Actually, I take it back – I went once at age 21. I fainted. They had to pull me out of the thing when it finally stopped, people watching and I’m sure laughing.

      then a few years ago I went into a ride that had ONE little drop into water – basically a roller coaster for young kids or very old folks – I screamed so much that I am sure whoever was around STILL talks about it. A shame.


  8. I haven’t tried chestnut flour – I did get some hazelnut flour and wonder if it would work instead – these brownies look marvelous! My daughter has a slight wheat intolerance so these would be perfect! Thanks for sharing


    • Hazelnut flour should work great, I think! I have recently organized my flours and I must say if I bring one more bag home I will need to go seek therapy. I am serious.


  9. I have a huge fear of heights. HUGE. And I just love the sound of these brownies! I don’t have chestnut flour but I imagine that almond flour might work? These look lovely, Sally!


  10. I agree with you completely on the flying thing. I have such anxiety about it. I usually can keep myself pretty calm though, but turbulence…then I find it a little harder not too look panicked. Mike and I hate traveling without each other too. Unfortunately he has to go on a trip overseas for work without us and I’m all a basket case about it. Congrats on your Dragon Award! I enjoyed getting to know some knew and interesting tid bits about you. (And I agree with you on dentist vs. Celine Dion). 😉 As for the brownies, I have no doubt they would disappear rather quickly.


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