It’s Pancake Day! Also known as Shrove Tuesday, Mardi gras, Martedì grasso, every year, for this occasion, I am tempted to prepare pancakes to celebrate the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, but then invariably my origins win. So, I always end up preparing frappe, called also chiacchiere, a traditional dessert for Carnival in my home country, Italy. They are a thin layer of a sweet dough fried in oil and then dusted with icing sugar. Delicious!
I share my grandmother’s recipe with you, which I modified a little because in her recipe the unit of measurement was “eggshell”: 3 ½ shells of sugar, 3 ½ shells of liqueur… 😊
My kids enjoy using the pasta machine to make thin sheets of dough, and also cutting shapes (strips, rectangles, rhomboids, ribbons) out of them with a zigzag cutting wheel.
Frappe di Carnevale
Pancakes or a traditional Italian dessert for Carnival/Shrove Tuesday? My Italian origins win. Here is a recipe from my granny’s cook book. Enjoy it!
250 g plain flour
30 g caster sugar
30 g butter, cubed
15 ml liqueur (Grappa, or Anise liqueur)
3 g baking powder
1 pinch of salt
sunflower oil for frying
icing sugar for dusting
wood pasta board
pasta machine (mine is a Marcato Atlas 150)
pasta/pastry zigzag cutting wheel
On a wooden board pour flour, sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt and mix them (1). Form a “volcano”, making a hole in the middle of the flour mixture (2), add the eggs in the “crater” of the volcano (3).
Beat the eggs with a fork and gently start incorporating the flour to the beaten eggs (4). Add the liqueur (5) and keep mixing with a fork. Add the cubes of butter and incorporate them into the ball of dough (6), kneading.
Keep kneading for at least 10 minutes, until the dough has a uniform texture and colour. It should be soft and smooth (7). Wrap the dough with cling film and let it at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. Cut the dough into small slices (8), make them flat with a rolling-pin (9).
Start to use the pasta machine. Pass each piece through the flat rollers with the regulating knob set on position 1. Repeat the process several time, flouring the pasta sheet each time it is passed. Decrease the thickness of the sheet (10), one number at time, from 1 to 5 (about 1 mm thick at the end). Cut the stripes into rectangles or rhomboids (11a and 11b).
Fry them (12). At the end dust with icing sugar (13). Enjoy it!!!