Carnevale sweets

Carnevale is just around the corner. This year the carnevale will start from Feb 14th to 24th. Here is the official site http://www.carnevale.venezia.it/.  Will be writing more on the carnevale as we go along into the 10 days of celebration. This is the first post about the event.

For the last 3 weeks, the pasticerrias in Venice and the supermarkets have been selling all sorts of sweet delights specially for the carnevale. These delights are all fried pastries.The Venetians love to fry everything and douse them with lots of sugar!  There are different ‘carnevale sweets’ all over Italy, you can check out this site http://www.ricette-tipiche.com/1-speciale-dolci-di-carnevale.htm (in italian though) for a comprehensive list.

The typical ones found in Venice are fritelle, galani, castagnole and bugie.

The photo below shows the various fritelli in a bakery in Venice. There are plain ones with raisins, orange peel and pine nuts, you have those filled with zabaglione or creme or sweet ricotta.

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If you would like to try to make them at home, I found the following recipes for Fritelle and Galani (from Citta di Venezia site):

Fritelle

20 g  yeast
500 g plain flour
300 cl milk
2 eggs
100 g sugar
100 g butter
120 g raisins soaked in rum
50 g pine nuts
75 g orange candied peel
1 lemon

  1. Grate lemon zest
  2. In a bowl mix the flour and milk together, eggs, sugar, a pinch of salt, yeast and melted butter.
  3. Combine all mixture well to form a soft consistency
  4. Rest the dough in a warm place (30 mins)
  5. Once it has rised, mix in the raisins, candied peel and pine nuts.
  6. Heat up oil and drop spoonfuls of dough
  7. Fry until golden brown
  8. Drain the fritters in absorbent paper
  9. Roll them in sugar
  10. They can be served while warm.

The source of this recipe apparently came from the cook  Bartolomeo Scappi to Pope Pius V. Il Marangoni in the 7th century became the national cake of Veneto.

Galani
Fried crisp breads with sugar

500 g plain flour
100 g sugar
50 g butter
2 eggs
125 dl white wine
a pinch of salt
grated lemon zest
1 tsp of rum

  1. Make the pastry by combining eggs, flour, sugar and melted butter, rum, wine, the pinch of salt, lemon zest together.
  2. Let the dough rest for 5 mins
  3. Take a small ‘pinch’ of the dough, roll it out with a rolling pin as thin as you can.
  4. Cut out the dough in a squares and make small incisions in the middle to facilitate air through when frying.
  5. Heat up the oil
  6. Fry these squares
  7. Drain them on absorbent paper and dust with sugar
  8. Leave them to cool before serving.

Here is a quick write up on the best fritelle in town (Venice) – I highly recommend to try the ones with zabaglione, ricotta and Veneziana (plain ones with pine nuts and raisins)

1) Tonolo (close to Campo San Pantalon, Dorsudoro)
2) Majer (at Campo Santa Magherita) for the ones with sweet ricotta
3) Le Cafe (at Campo San Stefano)
4) Il Fornaio (San Marco)

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