Almost every region in Italy has its own version of sweet fritters that are usually made in February and for Carnival but also as a little treat that can be enjoyed all year around. I know this post is coming just at the end of February (end of February, is that real!!?) and Carnival season but as I said, sweet fritters are such a lovely little treat that are so easy to make and who says we need to eat them only in February, right? In Croatia many people make and eat our version of fritters called ‘fritule’ (you can find it also here on the blog!) any time of the year when the craving strikes and not only as traditionally made for Christmas and Carnival time.
It’s the same with Italian fritters! There are so many and this time I’m sharing a recipe for the sweet little Castagnole from Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy or shorter Venice region…
‘Carnevale’ is celebrated on the last Tuesday before the Lent begins, forty days before Easter. Besides on that day it is also celebrated for the whole month of February, the same as in Croatia and the typical food to be enjoyed that time of the year are rich and indulgent like sweet fritters, doughnuts, gnocchi, lasagna, different pasta dishes…
Castagnole are little fried balls of dough that usually have aroma of rum and lemon zest and are dusted with powdered sugar before serving. I made this version with lemon zest and vanilla flavours and I used ghee (clarified butter) instead of regular butter, oat milk instead of cow milk and xylitol sugar instead of regular sugar and they turned out delicious! Ok I did dust them with powdered sugar but hey, it’s all about balance, right!?
Whether is for Shrove Tuesday before the Lent begins or some other time of the year, I hope you’ll try these little fried Castagnole! Those of you who follow me for a while already know that I don’t make fried food often but besides all the veggies, smoothies, salads, chia puddings and all the other healthy food, we need to have a treat from to time too! 🙂
Recipe in English:
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 2½ tbsp (30 grams) granulated sugar (I used xylitol sugar)
- 2 tbsp (30 grams) butter (I used ghee butter)
- ½ cup (125 ml) milk (I used oat milk)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- grated lemon zest from ½ lemon (untreated)
- oil for frying (I used coconut oil)
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Using electric mixer mix together butter with sugar until it gets light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, continue mixing and add milk, lemon zest and vanilla until the mixture gets combined.
- In another bowl combine flour with baking powder and salt.
- Add flour mixture into wet ingredients and slowly mix until you get slightly sticky dough.
- If the mixture is too dry, you can add a tbsp of water to help it combine.
- Take small spoonful of dough and using your hands roll into small balls.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan and gently place the balls into hot frying oil. Turned them while frying so they get equally golden brown colour. Don't put too many dough balls at the same time (5-6 is enough).
- Once fried, put them on the kitchen towel so the excess oil gets absorbed.
- Dust them with powdered sugar and enjoy warm or at room temperature.
Recipe in Croatian / Recept na hrvatskom:
- 2 salice (250 g) glatkog brasna
- ½ zlicice praska za pecivo
- prstohvat soli
- 2 jaja
- 2½ zlice (30 g) secera (ja sam koristila brezin secer)
- 2 zlice (30 g) maslaca
- ½ salice (125 ml) mlijeka (ja sam koristila zobeno)
- 1 zlicica vanilin ekstrakta
- naribana korica ½ limuna (neprskanog)
- ulje za przenje (ja sam koristila kokosovo ulje)
- secer u prahu za posipanje
- U vecoj posudi mikserom izmiksajte maslac sa secerom.
- Dodavajte jedno po jedno jaje i miksajuci dodajte mlijeko, limunovu koricu i vaniliju dok se sve dobro ne poveze.
- U drugoj posudi pomijesajte brasno s praskom za pecivo i soli.
- Dodajte mjesavinu s brasnom u mokre sastojke i lagano mijesajte dok ne dobijete pomalo ljepljivo tijesto.
- Ako je tijesto presuho, dodajte zlicu vode da se lakse poveze.
- Rukama radite male loptice od tijesta.
- Zagrijte ulje u tavi za przenje i polako polozite 'fritule', nemojte prziti previse odjednom (5-6 je dovoljno). Okrenite ih tako da se ravnomjerno isprze i dobiju zlatno-smedju boju.
- Vadite ih na papirnate rucnike kako bi se ocijedio visak ulja.
- Posipajte secerom u prahu i dobar tek!
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