castagnole al caffè

Italian “castagnole” recipe

Not only allegorical carts and masks: Italian Carnival is also rich in gastronomic culture, especially the traditional fried sweets prepared in this period throughout Italy. Call them chiacchiere, cenci, frappe, bugie, thin stripes of fried dough, or classic fried doughnuts, or castagnole.

The origin of castagnole seems to date back to 1700 at the D’Angiò royal house. Castagnole at that time were called “struffoli alla romana”. They are little balls of fried dough and then rolled into sugar, whose shape has obviously influenced their modern name. In fact, they’re about as big as a chestnut, i.e. Castagna.

Castagnole are delicious and esay to prepare! Our Castagnole recipe is easy to make and includes a reinterpretation that gives them a special taste thanks to the presence of coffee. To prepare our coffee castagnole, we used a cup of Gran Coffee in compostable coffee pods and a pinch of coffee liqueur.

Here’s the recipe for about 30 castagnole:

230 g Flour 00
60 g Hazelnut Flour (alternatively almond flour)
60 g Sugar
50 g Greek Yogurt (5 %)
40 g butter (room temperature)
1 Medium egg
1 cup of espresso (better if ristretto)
1 tablespoon coffee liquor (optional)
½ vanilla bean
1g salt
4 g baking powder

q.b. Peanut oil (to fry)
q.b. Sugar (to roll fried castagnole)

On a work surface, create a circle with flour and baking powder previously sifted. Add the rest of the ingredients: sugar, yogurt, egg, soft butter, coffee liqueur, vanilla, espresso coffee (cold), hazelnut flour and salt.
Then mix everything first with a fork, then with your hands to obtain a smooth and soft dough. Leave it to rest at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
Once rested, use the dough to form strings of dough, from which you will cut little balls of 4-5 cm.
Once the balls are formed, fry them in hot peanut oil (150-160°C ), until they are golden and put them on paper towel. It is important to roll castagnole into sugar while still hot.

Happy Mardi Gras!