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Italian chiacchiere (aka frappe, bugie or cenci) known in the english language as Angle wings, are a traditional Italian sweet treat that in Italy we eat during the carnival season. In Italy we make them with a simple dough that is then rolled very thinly and deep-fried.
Here I show you how to make chiacchiere vegan. Then I do them both fried, but also oven baked, for a healthier but still delicious angel wing. Our vegan chiacchiere contain no egg and no dairy, but will melt in your mouth. They are light, crunchy, bubbly, and as delicious as the non-vegan ones.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Flour: cake flour is the best for this recipe. We rarely use it in our desserts, but here it really makes a difference.
- Sugar: regular white sugar is best.
- Salt: just a pinch, to bring flavours together.
- Lemon zest: best if from an organic lemon. You can also add some orange zest to it. Or replace it completely with orange zest.
- White wine: it makes the chiacchiere light, crips, and full of little bubbles.
- Water: just plain tap water.
- Vegan margarine: you can either di it at home with our recipe for vegan margarine, it's super easy. Or you can replace it with any store bought vegan margarine or vegan butter.
- Frying oil: I use sunflower oil or peanut oil for frying.
- Powdered sugar: to sprinkle on top.
You'll need a rolling pin and a clean worktop to roll the dough. Also, usually chiacchiere are cut with a pasta cutter. If you don't have that, you can use a sharp knife instead, or a pizza cutter.
Mistakes I made
- I used a cheap wine: please don't! If you use a bad white wine, it will leave a bad taste to your vegan chiacchiere and you won't be able to eat them.
- I didn't let the dough rest: since the chiacchiere need to be rolled very very thin, rest is super important! Letting the dough rest allows the gluten that has developed while kneading to relax, making it easier for your to roll a thin dough.
- Liqueur or wine? Wine is perfectly fine for this recipe, however you can also make this recipe with liqueur such as acquavite, marsala, sambuca, vinsanto, brandy, grappa, or any other spirit really. In this case though, use only half the amount - 30g instead of 60g - and increase the amount of water from 20g to 50g.
- Roll the dough very thin: chiacchiere must be thin and crispy. For this to happen the dough needs to be rolled very thin. If you put your hand behind the rolled dough, you should be able to see your hand.
- Fold while rolling: folding and layering the dough makes it even crispier and full of bubbles. We tested with folding and without folding and we strongly recommend to fold.
- Which shape? You can get creative with the shape. Stripes, squares, knots and ribbons, it doesn't matter. In Italy every family uses a different shape.
Questions & Answers
Chiacchiere come from an ancient roman dessert called fricitilia. Already back during Roman times, this dish was made around February to celebrate Saturnali, a Roman holiday similar to modern carnival.
Each region in Italy has its own name for chiacchiere. Bugie, cenci, cioffe, cresciole, crostoli, cunchielli, fiocchetti, frappe, frappole, galani, galarane, gale, gasse, guanti, intrigoni, lattughe, maraviglias, sfrappe, sfrappole, sossole, sprelle, stracci, and many others.
Our vegan Italian chiacchiere are best eaten on the same day for best crunch. however, you can store them in an airtight container in a dry area of your kitchen for up to 3 days.
Despite the many different names, Italian chiacchiere are actually quite similar all around Italy. However, there are some difference and variations, mainly on:
- Type of liqueur used: depending on the regions Italians use different types of liqueur in their chiacchiere. A good white wine, grappa, anice liqueur, rum, alchermes, vinsanto, cognac, and even marsala and limoncello are a popular choice.
- Shape: it doesn't really matter! Squares, rectangles, ribbons, long thin stripes, squares with cuts in the middle, with rose shape. Chiacchiere can really take any shape you want to give them.
- Topping: the most popular way to serve chiacchiere is with powdered sugar on top. Other popular ways are drizzled with Alchermes, a red liqueur, or drizzled with honey (agave syrup for vegan alternative) and orange or lemon zest.
Italian Chiacchiere - Vegan Angel Wings
- Pasta cutter
- Rolling pin
- 200 g (1.6 cups) cake flour
- 20 g (1.5 tbsp) sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- ½ lemon zest
- 60 g (0.3 cups) white wine
- 20 g (1.5 tbsp) water
- 50 g (3.5 tbsp) vegan margarine < – click link to our homemade margarine recipe
- 1 L (0.3 gal) frying oil
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- In a bowl add flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest and mix together.
- Now add in white wine, water, and the vegan margarine.
- Mix with a spatula till you get a dough ball. Then transfer to a worktop and knead with your hands for 3 minutes until you get a smooth dough ball. Cover with a lightly moist cloth and let rest at room temperature for 60 minutes.
- Roll the dough very thin down to about 1 millimeter - 0.04 inches. You should almost be able to see through the dough. You can use a rolling pin or a pasta machine.While you roll it, fold it on its own 4 to 5 times. This will make the chiacchiere lighter, crispier and full of bubbles.
- With a pasta cutter, cut stripes of dough that are about 10 cm long and 3 cm wide (that is 4 inches x 1.2 inches).
- Oven baked: cook in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes at 180C / 356F.Deep-fry: fry in oil for 30 seconds on each side. Oil temperature around 170C (340F). Set aside on a tray with kitchen paper.
- Arrange on a serving platter and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- We make vegan margarine at home with soy milk and sunflower seed oil. It takes 1 minute. Follow link in the ingredients list for recipe.
- The dough should be smooth, soft and moist, but should not stick to your hands. If it sticks, sprinkle with a tiny bit of flour while you knead.
- Resting will relax the gluten. It will be a lot easier to roll the dough thin if you let it rest first.
- You can also served them with a drizzle of agave syrup and orange zest, or drizzled with Alchermes, a red-coloured liqueur.
Have you tried our vegan chiacchiere at home? Let us know in the comments below.