Italian carnival cakes: irresistible Chiacchiere (galani or crostoli)

Italian carnival cakes: irresistible Chiacchiere (galani or crostoli)

By 29/01/2013

Call them Cenci (in Tuscany), Frappe (in Emilia), Crostoli (in Friuli Venezia Giulia and Trentino) or Chiacchiere (in Lombardy) they all mean the same thing: an irresistible, light and crunchy pastry you can't stop eating once you start.

Yes, it is carnival time now so it is time to indulge again (but when it is not time to indulge?!).

For this treat you need to make a thin dough into thin twisted ribbons or a flat dough with wavy borders and deep-fried them.

You need to use plenty of oil (you can then recycle it for future use) and it needs to be very hot. You can test it by dipping a toothpick into it. If you can little bubbles around it it means that the oil is hot enough.

Finally a sprinkle of vanilla powdered sugar will give it the final touch.. mouthwatering already? Get that apron out and start making them, you won't regret it!

For more Carnival cakes try Frittelle too.

  • Prep Time : 45 minutes
  • Cook Time : 20 minutes



Put the the flour, the cornflour and the sugar on your work plan and make a hole. Then add the eggs, vanilla essence, lemon juice and salt

mixing the ingredients

ย Add a drop of grappa or cognac and the diced butter

ย adding cognac

Work it into a smooth dough, then roll it in cling film and let it rest for 30 minutes in a cool and dry place

making the dough

With the pasta machine or with a rolling pin make the dough flat. Do it a few times until you get a smooth pastry of about 2 mm thin

making it thin

With a pastry cutter cut the pastry into long stripes and make an incision in the middle

cutting the pastry

Heat the oil until very hot then fry the pastries for a few seconds each side until slightly golden

frying the pastry

Sprinkle with vanilla icing sugar

sprinkling the sugar

Get yourself a glass of white wine and enjoy this treat. Happy Carnival!

Italian fried carnival cakes crostoli, chiacchiere or galani

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15 Responses to Italian carnival cakes: irresistible Chiacchiere (galani or crostoli)

  1. Vanessa Greco

    Thanks for putting the recipe to these! I ate my fair share in Milano last year. I didn’t realize they were so easy to make.

    • Alida

      Yes they are easy to make. I was craving for them. I need to make them at least once a year!

  2. La cucina diMolly

    Complimenti per la tua foto, sei una bella persona! Quest’anno le chiacchiere non le ho ancora preparate, ottima la tua ricetta, la proverรฒ! Un abbraccio!

    • Alida

      Grazie cara Molly. E’ un piacere condividere ricette con te. Ciao!

  3. Javelin Warrior

    These look SOOO good, Alida! I love fried dough (especially from carnivals) and this is easier than I was expecting. I also have never deep-fried using olive oil because I always thought the smoke-point was too low, but I’ll have to give it a try… Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Alida

      Yes, I was very keen on sharing this with you. They are just so special and tasty.
      PS: I have fried them using sunflower oil. I find it a better oil when frying (and cheaper).X

  4. Mich Piece of Cake

    This reminds me of bienets I had in New Orleans, but that’s French. These fried dough sticks look so good. And I love it with that sprinkling of icing sugar.

  5. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    These look delicious and I am very sure they are addictive!
    That’s a gorgeous photo of you making chiacchiere.

  6. Balvinder

    This reminds me of the mathri that we make it is just as addictive as your chiacchierre.

  7. Alida

    Non dirlo a me. La mia Imperia l’ho rispolverata dopo ben 10 anni! Avevo fatto le Frappe 10 anni fa ma non erano lievitate facendo le bolle quando le friggevo. Adesso pero’ sono rimasta contenta perche’ sono venute bene. Quella volta non avevo i bambini… ti danno tanta soddisfazione quando mangiano volentieri quello che fai! Un abbraccio cara Rita.

  8. Petra

    they look delicious!

    • Alida

      Thanks Petra!

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  10. Diana

    Love this recipe! But as I mentioned on your other post… is better I don’t make them! ๐Ÿ™‚ You are so cute as well! I like seeing you in your posts!

  11. Choclette

    Something tells me I would just love these. I don’t do deep frying, which is just as well as I love eating fried foods.

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