Cooking with Manuela: Chiacchere di CarnevaleFebruary 16, 2021
Crispy and sugar covered, Italian Carnival fried pastries
Let’s celebrate Mardi Gras with one of Italy’s most favorite Carnival treats: paper-thin dough, fried until perfectly golden and crispy and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
These delicious treats are found all over Italy with very different names. They are called galani (in Venezia), crostoli, chiacchiere, cenci, frappe, bugie in other parts. There might be slightly different variations on the recipe, but the final product is very similar no matter what the name is.
One ingredient that makes the dough for this dessert special is grappa. You can substitute with other types of alcohol like white rum or even limoncello . I made the dough using my stand mixer but you can also do everything by hands. It sure makes for a great workout 😉
The dough needs to rest at room temperature for half hour or so, and then needs to be rolled in a paper-thin sheet. I suggest working in little batches, and cut the sheet in half if it gets too big and hard to handle. Cut with a pastry wheel in pieces, any size and shape work. As reference I made mine into about rectangles 2 by 4 inches, with two cuts in the middle. Fry a few at a time in hot oil, until golden and puffy … should only take a few seconds per side if you roll them really thin. It might take a little longer if you decide to keep the pastry sheets thicker. My suggestion, after you roll the first batch, fry and taste … if they turn out heavy and not perfectly crispy, roll the next a little thinner!
To roll the dough you can use your rolling pin and work some arm muscles. Or any pasta roller works. This is the one I use, which is an attachment to my KitchenAid stand mixer.
As I said before, I’m a little obsessed with this roller. So fun to use. Who’s ready to join in the fun and try to make these chiacchiere too?!?