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crostoli

Delicious light and crunchy sweet Carnival fritters

When I was little I used to watch my mum preparing crostoli at home. In our house it was a tradition eating crostoli this time of the year and my mamma has always been really keen to have them ready on the table throughout Carnival time. Funny enough I never attempted to make them myself until last week… And since then I already made three different batches! Love them!

Crostoli are crunchy sweet Carnival fritters. They are so light that when you bite them they really melt in your mouth! When you start eating one then you would not stop as they aren’t too sweet therefore perfect to eat after a meal or to serve to your friend as a little treat to go along with tea or coffee. You really need to give this recipe a go and you won’t be disappointed I promise!

 

Here is the recipe. If you have a standing mixer like I do, the dough takes literally 5 minutes to be ready. If you don’t then just mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and then knit the dough on a floured surface.

50gr butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 eggs plus a yolk

70gr of sugar

25ml of Grappa

salt

500gr of flour

6gr of baking powder

oil for frying

In a large bowls sift flour and baking powder, then add a little salt then the sugar, the butter, the liquor, the vanilla and the eggs. Mix all toghether. When everything comes together it is advised to knit the dough for 10 minutes by hand to make it smooth but I didn’t as I really cannot be bothered so I just tend to roll it a couple of times more when I pass the dough through the pasta machine.

Once you made the dough leave it to rest for 1/2 hour in a cool and dry place but not in the fridge .  Then divide it in 4 equal pieces and keep the ones that you are not using in plastic bags so they don’t dry out.

Use a pasta machine to roll the dough. You have to pass the dough through the rollers starting from the tickness number 1 which is the wider setting. If you see that the dough breaks, like in my picture, do not worry as it happens most of the time. Just fold it and pass it through the machine all over again and again until it gets smooth. Then change the tickness on a medium tickness and roll the dough again, and so on until you get to the thinner setting. If it gets too long just cut the sheet of pasta in two.

 

Once you got your sheet of pasta put them on a table covered with a table cloth so you can be sure that they won’t stick while you finishing rolling the rest of the dough. Cut each sheet to create squares or rectangulars or whatever shape you like. The crostoli wont keep the original shape anyway while frying so you should not worry to much about it. To make traditional Crostoli you should cut two small lines in the centre of each shape.

Little tip: to make sure the oil is at the right temperature you only need to insert a wooden spoon into the oil and if it starts to bubble then the oil is ready.

Heat the oil to 350f and start frying the crostoli. It literally takes 1 minute to fry them. Crostoli are ready when you start see them getting a golden colour on both side.

As soon as they reached the golden colour, take them out of the oil and place them on a plate covered with some kitchen paper. Sprinkle them with icing sugar, be generous!

And here they are, super yummy! Buon Carnevale!

 

 

Valentine’s love? Not quite yet

Christmas has passed and all I can see now all over the web it’s hearts, love messages, Valentine’s cards. NO NO NO!!

It’s January for crying out loud! This is like seen Christmas decorations in September!  Valentine’s day is still more than a month away so this is so wrong.

January is a kind of boring month for me and only few days ago I was wondering what excuse I had to find to bake and celebrate something. Then I phoned my sister in Italy and she said to me: “Do you know what day is today??”  “mhh well not really..” and she said “It’s the first day of Carnival!!”

YEAHHHH

I never understood why in the UK  Carnival is not celebrated seen that people like to dress up throughout the year in silly costumes anyway. It’s such an awesome time of the year and it reminds me of many Carnival parties when we were little and we used to plan weeks ahead what we would have liked to dress up as so our mum could sew the costumes.

Then we used to go to nursery/school, all dressed up as our favourite characters and show off to our friends. On the top of my mind I remember dressing up as princess (obviously), as little devil, as Morticia Addams (this was repeated for many years due to my pale skin and long black hair!).

Here, nothing…

But, I can still celebrate Carnival in my house by preparing something, like I did last year, some typical Italian Carnival sweets. Last year I made Frittelle (Carnival doughtnuts), this year I want to try and make Crostoli, well at least it’s how we call them in the north, my husband would have probably used the word Frappe.

Stay tuned! In the meantime a picture of myself dressed up for Carnival