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Fried Desserts | Chestnut Flour Recipes

Chestnut Flour Crostoli
(italian fried pastries)

Traditional Italian carnival sweets - this time made with chestnut flour, which gives them delicate nutty flavour. So easy to make and so delicious!

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Crostoli are ribbons of deep-fried dough originated from Italy where they are prepared during the Carnival time. There are dozen of recipes for these sweets mostly made with regular ingredients you have in your pantry.

We made a twist and swap one part of plain flour for chestnut flour which make these crostoli super sweet and nutritiously richer that the original one. Let's see how to make these delicious Italian dessert.

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Making the dough

First combine CHESTNUT (this flour tends to compress into lumps so be sure to sift it) and PLAIN flours, BAKING POWDER, SUGAR and SALT in a large bowl.

Make a well in the middle and add EGGS, MELTED BUTTER, RUM (or Amaretto) and GRATED ORANGE ZEST. Start stirring with a fork while incorporating flour into other ingredients. Tip the dough onto work surface and knead with your hands until you get a compact dough. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Rolling crostoli

It's time for rolling crostoli so prepare a rolling pin and a pastry mat, or you can roll out on dusted work surface. Half the dough then roll out thinly (around 1mm). Using a pastry wheel cut rectangles (10x3cm) and make a cut in the middle of each piece. Thread one end of each rectangle through the slit to make a bow. 

Extra tip

Try different ways of shaping crostoli: instead of cutting a slit in the centre, pinch and twist the centre of the strip. Also, cut 2 - 3 slits in the centre of the strip and deep-fry without twisting or looping.

Frying crostoli

To fry crostoli, fill a skillet with sunflower oil and set on a medium heat. When the oil is hot (around 170°C - 180°C), drop 2 - 3 crostoli into the oil. Fry for 1 - 2 minutes on each side then drain them with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Dust with some icing sugar once cooled.

Storing chestnut flour crostoli

Crostoli will be little soft but they crispen as they cool. These crostoli are great as they can last for a week if stored in airtight container

Looking for more chestnut flour recipes? Check these out:

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Chestnut flour crostoli

MAKES: 45 crostoli
COOKS IN: 1 hour plus resting time


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  • 240g (2 2/3 cups) chestnut flour
  • 150g (1 1/4 cup) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 50g (1/4 cup) brown sugar (coarse)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 42g (3 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon of grated orange or lemon zest
  • 45ml (3 tablespoons) of rum or Amaretto liqueur
  • sunflower oil for frying
  • icing sugar for dusting


  1. Combine together sifted chestnut and plain flours, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

  2. Make a well in the centre then add eggs, sugar, melted butter, rum and finely grated orange zest.

  3. Using a fork, begin to stir while slowly incorporating flour. Carry on kneading the dough with your hands until it comes together into a smooth even ball. If the dough is too sticky add some more flour. If it is too hard, add 1 - 2 tablespoons of water or orange juice.

  4. Turn the down onto lightly floured work surface and knead for about 2 - 3 minutes. Cover the dough and let it rest for about 30 minutes.

  5. Half the dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half into a square, turning dough and adding flour to the work surface as needed. Using a pastry wheel, cut the dough into even rectangles - each 10x3cm. Cut a small slit lengthways along the centre of each rectangle. Loop one end of the rectangle through the slit. Place rectangles on floured baking paper. Repeat with other dough.

  6. Fill a skillet with sunflower oil and set it over low-medium heat. When the oil reached temperature of 180°C/356°F (drop a small crumb of dough into the oil and if it start to sizzle the oil is ready), slip in 3 - 4 crostoli and fry for 30 seconds on each side, until lightly brown. 

  7. Drain them with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Continue with the rest of the dough. Let them cool then transfer to a serving bowl and dust with some icing sugar.

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