Zeppole are our favourite carnival sweet, well, not exactly a carnival sweet as the full name is Zeppola di San Giuseppe in honour of the Saint on the 19 March every year.
Nevertheless, they are widely available throughout Carnival.
They are typical of the zone of Vesuvius near Naples and further south towards Puglia and even Sardinia where they are called Zippulas.
Two varieties are prepared; either fried or oven cooked. Both are lavishly filled with thick cream and topped off with cherry syrup, jam, chocolate and even Nutella.
This is the most classic of zeppole recipes using white flour, sugar, cognac, cinnamon, caster sugar, olive oil, salt.
Pour 2 glasses of water, a glass of cognac, a dessert spoon of sugar and a pinch of salt into a casserole dish.
Place on a medium heat and before the mixture boils, remove from the heat and stir in the flour in a single go.
Replace the casserole on the heat and mix all the ingredients energetically.
When the mixture starts to not stick to the sides of the dish, place it on a marble work surface which has been moistened with a layer of olive oil.
Roll the mixture with a rolling pin. Fold over and repeat this process for at least 10 minutes.
Cur the pastry into 10 cm strips and form them into 'ciambelle' shapes or circular, doughnut type biscuits .
Take a fork and pierce the 'ciambelle', donuts, before frying in olive oil until the zeppole is a golden color.
Remove and drain the olive oil.
Add your topping of choice and serve each zeppola sprinkled with caster sugar
Official Zeppola website since 1999