How could I ever forget those colourful carnival parties in primary school?
In the days before Chinese cheap clothing, most children would have homemade carnival costumes. My well meaning mum used to make me look like a boy dressed as a girl.. she tried hard but I truly looked kind of naff. I remember a particular dress: I was meant to be a fairy with a thick and curly blond wig, a long and pointy (fairy-like was it?) sparkling hat, a large light blue dress with a splash of yellow stars attached to it; then a home knitted woolly red shawl on my shoulders + my lips smeared in bright red lipstick finished me off. Oh mio Dio..
Still I was very happy and quite proud of my dress until I went out and people asked me whether I was a boy.. dressed as a girl.. did they really mean a transvestite?? Surely not!
Carnival is all about being cheerful, partying and eating lots of sinful fried cakes. Plenty of calories in these but God sooo buonissimi! Last year I made the classic chiacchiere or cenci and this year I made carnival masks which are kind of fun and you can involve your children in decorating them.
I love this time of year.. Happy carnival!
- Prep Time : 1 hour minutes
- Cook Time : 20 minutes
On your worktop put the flour with the eggs, vanilla extract, sugar, liquor, lemon zest and butter. Mix the ingredients well with a fork
Working quickly with your hands make a smooth ball then cover it in cling film and pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes
With the scissors cut a mask out of a piece of card. Flatten the pastry with a rolling pin or with the help of a pasta making machine. The pastry should be about 1,5 mm thick and smooth
Fry the masks in hot oil turning them on both sides until they are slightly golden. Make sure you don't burn them! If you get a foam whilst frying this means the oil is not hot enough. Don't fry all the masks at the same time, just 3 or 4 each time.
When they are cooked fish them out of the oil with a slotted spoon and put them on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil
And now the more creative bit - decorate your masks as you fancy.
You can just sprinkle some vanilla icing sugar or you can warm up some honey or jam, spread it over the masks and stick some chocolate or coloured strands, coconut flakes over it. Or you can decorate with chocolate icing.