venerdì 27 gennaio 2017

Chiacchiere: the real taste of Italian Carnival

All over Italy, there are no Carnival celebrations without chiacchiere, a crispy fried dessert, which represents the real taste of Italian Carnival for both children and adults.
These crispy strips of dough are made throughout Italy and are called by various names: frappe, bugie, cenci. The word "chiacchere" is used in Campania region and in all the Southern Italy.

Learn how to make delicious Chiacchiere

4-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 ounces unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup light rum or liqueur of your choice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
Vegetable oil for frying
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
Sift the flour into a bowl. Sift the baking powder into the flour and stir them together. Set aside.
 In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, wine, rum, sugar, vanilla, and eggs.  Whisk until well blended.
Add the flour to the egg mixture 1 cup at a time, blending with a fork. Once you have incorporated all the flour, knead the dough briefly in the bowl with one hand until it is soft and smooth. It will be moist and a little sticky but refrain from adding flour if you can. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.
 Flatten the dough with a pasta machine or a rolling pin into a 1/8-inch-thick sheet, as for a pie crust, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking. With a fluted pastry cutter, cut the dough into strips about 1 inch wide and 6 inches long. Cut a 2-inch lengthwise slit in the center of each strip. Pick up a strip, insert one end through the slit and pull it through.
Put 4 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy 6-quart pot and place over moderately high heat.
When the oil reaches 375ºF, you can begin frying the chiacchiere. Work in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pot. Using a large, shallow stainless-steel skimmer or a slotted spoon, transfer few pieces of dough to the hot oil. They will puff immediately. Fry the chiacchiere keeping them constantly in motion, until they are golden all over, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes.
Transfer them to a tray lined with paper towels to drain briefly, then put them on a serving platter. Dust heavily with confectioner’s sugar while still warm.

Copyright, Rosetta Costantino. All rights reserved

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