Castagnole (Italian Carnival Fritters) are sweet dough balls which are deep-fried and covered, when still warm, with sugar. It is possible to find them also stuffed with cream, chocolate, ricotta. Here, I filled them with the delectable Duo Penotti Hazelnut & Vanilla spread. One bite of luxuriousness!
- 400 g flour type 0 (or all-purpose)
- pinch salt
- 1 organic lemon, the zest
- 4 eggs, organic, free-range, lightly beaten
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 100 g butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp liqueur (rum, or anise, I used Grappa)
- Duo Penotti Hazelnut & Vanilla spread, for filling
- peanut oil or e.v.o. oil for deep frying
- granulated sugar and icing sugar for topping
- In a large bowl add the flour and salt. Make a well in the middle, and add the cooled melted butter, the lightly beaten eggs, the sugar, the liqueur, the lemon zest.
- Mix first with a wooden spoon then with your hands until you get a soft and smooth dough.
- You can cut pieces of dough and form a thick rope. It will be sticky but don’t add flour because it will toughen the dough. Cut the rope in pieces as if you were making gnocchi and roll between your hands to form dough balls. If it is too sticky, just get little pieces of dough the size of a chestnut and roll them between your hands. Set aside on a wood board or a platter.
- With your finger, make an indentation and add about 1/2 a tsp of Duo Penotti Hazelnut & Vanilla spread. Close the sides and re-roll gently into a ball, making sure to keep the chocolate in the middle.
- In the meantime, start heating the oil (I used a deep pot), making sure the temperature is right (place a little piece of dough in the oil, it’s ready when you see it bubbles). Once the oil is at temperature, fry a few castagnole at a time, turning them often with a fork, till they are golden brown all around, and nicely puffed.
- Drain on a paper towel, roll -when still warm- in granulated sugar and sprinkle with icing sugar.
As all deep fried foods, they are best eaten fresh. The next day they are still good but they lose their soft crunch. You can half the recipe, it works just as well.