Chestnut flour is my latest jam! No, seriously, I’ve been stirring it into most things that I’ve baked lately and I absolutely love its slightly nutty, subtly sweet flavour. And for this latest experiment in my kitchen, I must thank the Equal Streets initiative in Mumbai. With no cars on the street on Sunday mornings, I spend at least 3 hours walking or cycling my way around and sometimes, end up exploring tiny by-lanes too. And that’s how I stumbled upon a store in Santacruz, selling chestnut flour.
It’s a gluten free flour and while I haven’t yet wrapped my head around using it all on its own, what I can tell you for sure is that it definitely amps up the flavour of these chocolate thumbprint cookies. I understand that the jury is still out on raw sugar and its benefits and claims, but I’ve been using it in almost everything I’ve baked recently, including these cookies. What I really like about raw sugar is that it complements the cocoa and the chestnut flour here, without making the cookies achingly sweet. I haven’t had any trouble finding raw sugar in Mumbai, it’s easily available under the Conscious Food label at grocery stores, but if you can’t find it, regular caster sugar works just as well in this recipe.
I like to think of the addition of the white chocolate ganache as a little kiss of decadence (I can be really dramatic sometimes) that tops these cookies. The slight hint of cinnamon in the ganache is the star of these cookies – giving that slight contrast that cuts through the cocoa and white chocolate. A lot of recipes will ask you to make the indent with your thumb halfway through the baking time, but I like to do so right in the beginning and then soon after they are out of the oven, in case the indent has risen. Once they’ve cooled and firmed up, just add the cooled ganache which, you’ll notice, sets atop the cookies and won’t be runny. But nevertheless, store these cookies in a single layer. I haven’t tried it, but I guess buckwheat flour could work pretty well instead of chestnut flour here. But then again, since I owe this little discovery to exploring the streets around me, I reckon you should take a stroll around your neighbourhood too… Who knows what little gems you could find? Happy 2015, everyone!