Brighelle (Italian Carnival fritters)

Brighelle (Italian Carnival fritters)

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About this recipe: During Carnival in Italy all you'll eat are fritters! They take different names in different regions, and brighelle is how they are called in Central Italy. Bake them as in this recipe or deep fry in oil.


Serves: 6 

  • 200ml water
  • 100g butter
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 eggs
  • icing sugar, for dusting
  • filling of your choice (e.g. pastry cream, ganache, lemon curd etc.)

Prep:20min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:35min 

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 C / Gas 8. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Place water and butter in a saucepan over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil. When it starts boiling, add flour and salt and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture starts sticking together and separating from the saucepan. Remove from heat and cool completely. Add one egg at the time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Pipe some rings of dough on the prepared baking tray, allowing 4 to 5cm space between each one.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes or until puffed up and lightly golden brown. Then, turn down the oven to 180 C / Gas 4 and keep cooking for 10 minutes longer.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Then poke a small hole on the bottom and fill the inside of the fritter with your favourite filling. Dust with icing sugar and serve.


Traditional brighelle are deep fried: heat up abundant vegetable oil and fry the mixture in spoonfuls. Also, the typical Italian filling would be pastry cream, but you can use also lemon curd, ganache or simply whipped cream.

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