Thursday, February 5, 2015

Frittelle di Carnevale - Italian Carnival Fritters FIlled with Custard Cream

Classic Italian stuffed frittelle di Carnevale: soft fried dough filled with rich and creamy custard.
I bet you can't eat just one! They are simply irresistible.
I can't believe that Fat Tuesday is coming up in less than two weeks. So here is a recipe for you, just in time for your Carnival celebration. In my house, it's not Carnival unless you eat one (... or many) of these traditional frittelle.
Italy is the birthplace of the Carnevale, which makes February a fun time to visit, especially Venezia. You'd be amazed by the stunning masks and world famous costumes, the street parades and all-day parties. If you were in Venice right now, walking along the canals and down the calli, you would be for sure enticed by the aroma of fried dough coming out of every pasticceria. And, believe me, it can't be ignored!
Frittelle are fried round doughnuts, that generally come in three varieties: Veneziane (with raisins and pinenuts), filled with zabaione cream or crema pasticcera. My favorite, as you might have guessed, are the last one. Soft and perfectly sweet. Light and fluffy. Made with simple ingredients. Deep fried and filled with a deliciously rich custard. Heavenly!
And I say: Yes! Carnival is just once a year... I can have frittelle and not feel guilty about it.

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Ingredients: to make around 40 small frittelle
  • 16 fl oz (500 ml) of milk
  • 3/4 cup (125 gr) semolina flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100 gr) of sugar
  • 1  cup (150 gr) of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 gr) of baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 large organic orange, zest
  • oil for deep frying
  • powder sugar for decoration
  • 2 oz (60 ml) whipping cream (optional)
For the custard cream:
  • 8 fl oz (240 ml) of milk
  • 2 fl oz (60 ml) of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cups (65 gr) of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (30 gr) of corn starch

Preparation time:  about 1 hour
1. Warm the milk in a large pan. Before it boils, add the semolino flour and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until it starts to detach from the sides of pan. Remove from the heat and let it cool down.

2. Add the eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix well, until smooth again.

3. Add the orange zest, finely grated. And whisk again. Let the batter rest for about half an hour, or until you prepare the custard cream.

4. Prepare a custard cream following this recipe. Let it cool completely and place in the refrigerator. 

5. Heat the oil in a large enough pan. Note: it's better if the oil fills no more than half of the pan.
 Drop spoonfuls of batter in the oil and fry until golden brown. Make sure you don't fry too many frittelle at the same time. They need space to cook, and turn around. Remove from the oil and place on paper towel to drain the excess oil. Check the first fritter and make sure it's fully cooked inside. If not, lower the flame and cook for a little longer. Let the frittelle cool down.

6. If you would like to make your custard cream a little softer, whip 2 oz of whipping cream and add to the custard cream. Mix well, until smooth.

7. When ready to eat them, cut the frittelle in half and fill with the cream.
Sprinkle with powder sugar and enjoy!


  1. These fritters are just killers! They are so yummy, I would be able to eat a dozen of these per sure!

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