Viva il carnevale, dove ogni cherzo vale!
Castagnole are a sweet dish typical of the carnival season. They can be found, with slight variations in their recipe, in most parts of Italy, but this version comes from Tuscany, where they can are usually sold along with the other star of carnival food: i ‘cenci’.
Like many other carnival sweets, castagnole are fried but it is also possible to bake them in the oven: the taste and texture is slightly different, but they are both delicious so you can’t go wrong either way! The recipe below comes from my family and has been approved by generations of demanding (and satisfied) children and adults.
Ingredients for a large tray of castagnole:
- 3 eggs
- 80 grams sugar
- 4tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs dried yeast
- 5 tbs lukewarm milk
- 400 grams flour
- Grated rind of 1 lemon
- Liquor of your choice (optional)
In a large bowl, mix the eggs, the oil and the sugarSeparately, warm up a mug of milk until it is lukewarm and mix in your yeastAdd to the eggs mixture and stir well, trying to avoid the creation of lumpsAdd the grated rind of one lemon and then your flour, slowly.Be careful: it might seem a large amount of flour for the liquids you have, but it should be enough to mix well to get a nice dough. If you feel like you need a bit more moisture, you can add a ittle milk.When the dough is soft and smooth, leave it in its bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rest for about 20 minutes.When this time has passed, make the dough into small balls (about 2 cm diameter), then fry them in a pan with a generous amount of hot oil until golden on all sidesTake them off the heath, dry excess oil and dust with sugarIf you like the taste, you can now sprinkle some liquor on top of themEnjoy hot and remember there's still time to join us in our next cooking holiday in Tuscany and learn to create more traditional recipes!Author bio:
If you are interested to find out more about Marta's culinary adventures check her blog The Sleepless Cook.