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Our blogger of recipes with chestnut flour

Confectionery is for Juan Manuel Díaz Silvan his greatest passion. For years he has used chestnut flour in his pastry.

“In the year 1994 I started my career in a bakery in Astorga (León, Spain) where I had my first contact with pastry making. After four years, I began to work in a pastry and confectionery company from el Bierzo (León, Spain) and I stayed there for the next eight years”.

My experience with chestnuts

“When have I started working with such a special ingredient as chestnut flour?

That’s another part of my story. As a member of the Cultural Association Carqueixa from El Bierzo, located in Santa Marina de Torre (León, Spain), I have been giving an introductory course on baking and pastry-making for all the partners. And a unique and extraordinary experience started.

The first year we focused on decorating desserts. Later, thanks to the support of the neighborhood council of Santa Marina de Torre, which provided us with an extraordinary workroom, we began to progress in making cakes and creating original recipes.

In those days, the beginning of a great idea was born: celebrating the first tasting session of cakes made with chestnuts. And what started as a curiosity, reached last year, 2018, its 12th edition. During these 12 years we have investigated, tested and made delicious desserts in whose elaboration chestnut flour is decisively involved. As it happens, my last recipe with chestnuts, in that 12th edition, was a version of the very well known macarons with a 50% chestnut flour content; the result was a surprising, elegant and tremendously delicious dessert.

Foto de macarons realizados con harina de castaña en la XII edición del concurso de repostería con harina de castaña
Macarons with 50% chestnut flour

This is my background in confectionery and my knowledge in the use of chestnut flour in any of its presentations.”

Why use chestnut flour in our sweets?

“I think it’s time to go back to our roots and recover the use of chestnuts in the kitchen. Chestnuts can be added to any dessert. This will improve the result, from dought fermented with chestnut flour, to fried doughs, ice creams, mousses, chocolates …. The chestnut flour provides a powerful and strong flavor, hence the importance of achieving balance by providing the right amount of this wonderful ingredient.”

Why do I cooperate with Ladeira?

“In our times, it is deeply unfortunate not to make the most of our own natural resources. A short while ago I knew a new company: Ladeira, set by an entrepreneur who wants to take advantage of these most interesting natural resources. We only have to place ourselves in El Bierzo, a natural paradise; an example of tenacity, work, effort and enthusiasm. And this enthusiasm is which our entrepreneur has for their new company, specialized in a typical Berciano produce: the Pared chestnut.

Moved by their dynamism and enthusiasm, I will collaborate with Ladeira via this blog specialized in recipes with chestnut flour.

I hope you enjoy as much as I do, cooking my recipes and tasting them”.