Desserts and sweets

Castagnole. Italian Carnival dessert

Castagnole. Italian Carnival dessert


  • Half
  • 90 minutes
  • For 8 people
  • € 0.3 / person

Castagnole . As in Spain, in Italy, Carnival is always an excuse to light the stove.

In Spain, the dessert recipes for Carnival, Easter and the Dead are among the best of the year, rivaling Christmas nougats and marzipans. The sweet repertoire in Italy of these dates is extensive, but if we focus on the cradle of the Italian carnival, Venice, we can highlight the carnival fritole or fritters  and castagnole .

Castagnole , literally translated as castanets from Italian, are surely named for their small chestnut-like shape that would fall between a fritter recipe and the classic donuts. It is a small sweet in the form of a ball no larger than a walnut, which is kneaded, formed and subsequently fried in abundant oil, to finish coated in sugar.

Its mass is similar to that of our fried donuts but with its characteristic small bean shape. After frying they will be left with a hard and crispy exterior with a lighter interior. There are a variety of versions of this recipe, there are those who add among its ingredients a part of ricotta cheese or even pieces of chocolate. In any case, it is a very fun Carnival dessert to prepare with children and with a super good result. He can tell you that these little balls are vice, the ones to start and not being able to stop.

In some areas of the country they are usually consumed together with a hot chocolate as we do in Spain with fried churros . They are getting wet as they are eaten, a whim. With the recipe that I indicate you will get a good amount of castagnole, but do not worry, I am sure that in less than nothing is the empty tray.

Preparation of the Castagnole or Carnival fritters

  1. In a bowl we beat the eggs and add the melted butter, sugar, anise, lemon zest. Vanilla essence and salt. Mix well and reserve.
  2. In another bowl we combine the flour and the yeast and add it to the liquid bowl. Mix well with a fork and finish kneading with your hands until you get a manageable dough that does not stick to the walls of the bowl.
  3. We form with our hands, about 10 or 15 gr. each and we reserve them.
  4. While we put to heat over medium heat a frying pan or casserole with plenty of neutral oil (sunflower or soft olive) so that it does not add more flavor to the dough.
  5. The difficulty of this dessert is in the temperature of the oil, since if it is not very hot, the dough falls to the bottom and care must be taken to keep it afloat, but if it is too hot, a dry envelope forms around the castagnole that prevents it from growing . Also if the oil is very hot, they will brown very quickly and will be raw inside.
  6. The first batch will serve us to try the following ones and they will be delicious.
  7. We add to the pan little by little and fry the balls over medium heat for a few minutes. We remove the balls to a source with kitchen paper to remove the excess oil and coat them with white sugar, glass or the combination of both.

We will have a small mountain of castagnole to enjoy in the afternoon snack or breakfast with hot chocolate.

You can see in this step by step how to prepare this recipe for the Carnival Castagnole , I am sure you will prepare them on many occasions.

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