Cenci di Carnevale- A typical Chianti Dessert

Cenci di Carnevale- A typical Chianti Dessert

The carnival is approaching.

It is really very close.

And while we are waiting to tell you about the birth of Carnevale (as we call it in Italy) and the Italian traditions related to this wonderful festival, we decided to talk about the Tuscan dessert par excellence when it comes to carnival.

We are talking about the Cenci, which together with the fritelle, are the most loved carnival dessert by young and old.

Recipe of the peasant cuisine, whose art is kept by all the grandmothers of Chianti.

Here is a detailed description of the recipe of “Cenci della nonna” (Grandmother’s Cenci)

Perfect matching with wines such as a nice sparkling wine with a fine perlage as Cielo di Montemaggio could be

Another solution could be a vin santo with an elegant character.


250 gFlour 00
40 gSugar
20 gButter
10 mlExtra virgin olive oil
q.b.Vanilla icing sugar
2 whole eggs
1 pinch of salt
q.b.Oil for frying


1. To prepare the dough for the cenci of Carnival put a fountain, on a pastry board, the 00 flour, then, versavi, the center, sugar, extra virgin olive oil, butter and eggs.

2. Carefully knead all the ingredients with your fingertips until they are perfectly amalgamated together and you have obtained an elastic and soft dough. At that point, make a ball with the dough, cover it with a cloth and let it rest for about 30 minutes.

3. After 30 minutes, take your dough for the Tuscan cenci di Carnevale, knead it for a few more minutes and then, with the help of a floured rolling pin, roll it out, on a surface, trying to get a very thin sheet (about 3 mm thick).


4. Using the indented roller divide your dough into many rectangles (I tried to get equal rectangles and the size of about 4 x 12 centimeters, but other recipes will advise you to divide them into rectangles of irregular size …. in short, it depends on tastes and local traditions) and if you want, make a further cut in the sense of length (as you can see from the photo of cenci I did).

5. Pour plenty of oil in a pan with high sides and when it is hot fry the cenci of Carnival a few at a time (the ideal would be to fry no more than 4 or 5 at the same time), make them brown first on one side and then the other (be careful because they cook very quickly).

6. Once cooked, drain your cenci with a skimmer and place them in a tray where you have placed a sheet of paper towels to remove excess oil.

7. When your cenci di Carnevale have lost the excess oil, remove them from the tray on which you had placed them, place them on another serving tray and sprinkle them with plenty of powdered sugar. At this point, your sweet Carnival cenci are ready to be enjoyed.”

All you have to do is try.

Enjoy this extraordinary dessert so rich in tradition.

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