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Chestnut Flour Castagnole



Chestnut flour castagnole

Castagnole are one of the most popular fried sweets served up throughout Carnival season in Venice. If you're heading to Venice during the Carnival, you will find them in many pastry shops, but they are surprisingly simple to whip up at home.

In this recipe besides plain flour we use also two gluten-free flours - almond and chestnut flour. Both almond and chestnut flour gives these fried balls specific flavour and texture. If you would like to make completely gluten-free version skip the plain flour and increase the amount of other two flours. 

Almond flour is made from ground blanched almonds that are ground into fine flour. Almond flour is not the same as almond meal. We use one part of almond flour which gives different texture to castagnole.

In this recipe we utilize the natural sweetness of chestnut flour, rather than adding sugar. Orange juice along the finely grated orange zest give an extra freshness to these sweets. 

If you are after a quick sweet bite try with these simple recipe and enjoy freshly fried castagnole along the cup of coffee or tea!

If you're looking for even more interesting recipes for castagnole then we suggest you check out recipe for classic castagnole or butternut squash castagnole.

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Castagnole - typical Italian Carnival dessert

Chestnut Flour Castagnole
Recipe

MAKES: 30
COOKS IN: 30 minutes
DIFFICULTY: Easy

Ingredients

  • 100 g chestnut flour
  • 50 g almond flour
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 100 g fresh ricotta
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon Amaretto
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Sunflower oil for frying

Preparation

  1. Sift the chestnut flour and plain flour to the large bowl to get rid of lumps and then add almond flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Combine everything together using a spoon.

  2. Make a well in the centre and break the eggs into it. Whisk them slightly and then add orange juice, orange zest, ricotta and one tablespoon of amaretto liqueur. Begin to stir all the ingredients with a spatula until everything is combined.

  3. Now, knead the dough until you have a smooth and slightly sticky ball. Wrap it in cling film and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

  4. Fill 3/4 of a deep, medium-sized frying pan with sunflower oil. Place it over a medium heat until the oil shimmers.

  5. Form the small balls of the size of chestnuts from the dough and fry them in batches of 5 - 6 until crisp and golden all around (for about 3 - 4 minutes).

  6. Drain them with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Leave them to cool slightly, then dust with icing sugar and enjoy them while still warm.

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Useful tips

  • Be sure to sift the chestnut flour before adding to other ingredients as it tends to compress itself into lumps. Both the chestnut and almond flours can be found at your local health food store.



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