11 September 2006
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Recipes for this Neapolitan sweetmeat go back to the early 17th century, but they became a traditional festive food only in the last century. In restaurants, piles of the little golden nuggets soaked in honey are left on the table for guests to help themselves. In other parts of Italy they are also known as cicerchiata because they are the same size as chickpeas. If you have the time, you can roll them into round balls. The dough is softer and shorter than the one used to make chiacchiere, but is as easy to make. ### INGREDIENTS (serves about 40 covers) 800g "00" flour 12 egg yolks Grated zest of a lemon 2tbs sugar 40g melted butter 2tbs alcohol of your choice, brandy, limoncello, etc 1-2 litres frying oil 40g candied citron peel 40g candied orange peel 40g candied lemon peel 300-400ml runny honey 30ml anis liqueur Garnish Silver sugar balls Julienne candied peel ### METHOD Combine flour, yolks, zests, sugar, butter and alcohol. Mix to form a smooth dough in a food processor. Divide the dough into pieces weighing about 200g each. Keep a damp tea towel handy for the next stage because you mustn't use any more flour. Wipe a wooden board, marble or work surface with the damp cloth. One by one roll out each piece of dough with your hands to form a rope roughly 60cm long and about 1cm thick (1). The damp surface stops the dough from sticking. Cut each one into pieces about 5mm wide (2 and 3). You can, if you are patient, roll them into little balls, but this is probably not an option in a busy restaurant. Drop about 60 struffoli into the oil at a time (4). Fry them for about six minutes, turning them often with a spider. They should be light brown and cooked through. Drain them on a clean tea towel or absorbent paper. Toss them while still hot in honey, making sure that they are very well coated (5). Finely dice the candied peel. Mix it with the struffoli (6). Stir in the anis. Leave to macerate at least 30 minutes. Pile a mound of struffoli on a plate, decorate with silver balls and julienne of candied peel (7). Note: In Naples, they prefer diavolilli (hundreds and thousands) to the silver balls.
Step 1: roll dough
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Steps 2 and 3: cut into pieces
Step 4: drop into the oil
Step 5: toss
Step 6: mix
Step 7: decorateÁ‚ Á‚ Á‚ Á‚Â
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