Chiacchiere - Angel Wings
Crumbly, delicate, sweet fried pastry dough with many names across the world, mostly eaten around Easter or carnival time. This fried pastry will crumble in your hand when you bite it, it’s so delicate and delicious.
- 250 g flour
- 30 g butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 10 g vanilla sugar
- 2-3 tbsp of whipping cream
- 2 tbsp white wine
- 1 tbsp rum
- zest of 1 lemon
- pinch of salt
- + 1/2 liter vegetable oil for frying
- + powdered sugar for dusting
Mix all of the ingredients for the fried pastry and add the whipping cream last. Use it only enough to make the dough just stick together, it can be 2 to 3 tablespoons.Knead all of the ingredients together for 7-10 minutes, in a stand mixer with a dough attachment or by hand. Let the dough covered tightly with cling film rest for 30 minutes on the counter.
Roll the dough on a floured surface as thin as possible. Use a long offset spatula to go under the dough every once in a while to help it not stick to the counter. Use a pizza cutter to cut the rolled pastry into squares or rectangles around 4 x 10 cm. Then make 1-4 cuts in the middle of each rectangle, leaving about 1/2 cm around the edges.
Now for the fun part. Take one in your hand and stretch it so that it becomes even thinner. Now twist and turn the dough to make any shapes you want, make knots or just leave them straight.
Frying the pastry
Heat up the oil in a fairly big and deep pot to 180°C on medium heat. If you don't have a thermometer, check if the oil is ready by placing a piece of dough in it, if it starts bubbling around it, it's ready to go.
Prepare a plate lined with paper towels and have more ready nearby. Carefully place around 3 pieces of dough in the oil, turning them around after a few seconds, as soon as they get some golden color. After a few seconds on the other side, when all golden, they are done!
Take them out and place on the prepared plate. Take some more paper and pat them to remove excess oil. Place more paper towels on top of the fried chiacchiere when the plate is full and continue. Repeat until you fry all the dough. If the oil gets too hot, the pastry will brown up too fast, remove the pan from the heat for a few seconds, lower the heat and place it back.
Leave them to cool a bit, then remove the paper towels and dust them with powdered sugar. They crisp up when completely cooled. You should have a lot of angel wings with lot's of bubbles and golden color.
- Using sugar in the dough is optional, you can leave it out. This will probably result in a lighter color.
- You can substitute the rum with grappa, brandy or wine.
- Lemon zest is not necessary but it adds to the flavor.
- The dough should be very soft but not sticky.
- The thinner the dough the better.
- Use any vegetable oil appropriate for frying (withstands high temperatures), I use sunflower.
- In the past peopled fried chiacchiere in lard, so I guess you could do that too.
- The dough should not touch the bottom of the pan when frying.
- The dough will get drier as it waits to get fried, so try to do everything fast or have a helper.
- Bubbles on the surface are a sign of well-made angel wings.
- The alcohol evaporates during the frying so don't worry about using it.