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Carnival flowers

>> Thursday, February 18, 2010

Flores carnaval 5

Carnival season is over and I didn't find the time to make these flowers... But the idea of making them had got into my head and it wouldn't let go. So I made them this week, better late than never. And that gives me the chance to use another one of my gazillions of kitchen gadgets that I use every 2 years... more or less: the lovely flower mold. It makes me so happy... It was quite dusty, poor thing. I had to clean it up with one of those baby bottle brushes, that I still keep for this kind of use. So I brandished my gleaming mold and embarked on making these flowers.

What? That you can't find such a mold in your neighborhood? I found out that a very similar device is used in South East Asia for a surprisingly related kind of cookie.

Flores carnaval 4

These sweets are typically eaten around Carnival in many regions of Spain. They are deep-fried in oil, which is a very common method of cooking sweets around here. They seem to originate in the region of La Mancha, and imitate the shape of the ancient Order of Calatrava emblem. The recipe I use comes from Segovia, from the book Cocina Segoviana, by Dionisio Duque, out of print (Segovia is a beautiful town, included in the UNESCO World Heritage sites for its old quarter and aqueduct). This Mr. Duque was the owner of a very famous and traditional restaurant in Segovia, Asador Duque, a place I used to frequent with my parents when I was a kid... certainly long ago. The restaurant prides itself on being the oldest one in Segovia. And I'm sure you'll love that the measures are given in spoonfuls and egg shells...

Flores carnaval 1

Carnival flowers
Yields around 25 flowers

  • 6 medium eggs
  • 6 egg shells water (half of the egg shell, in fact)
  • 1 egg shell anise liquor
  • 12 tbsp flour (I had to add more, the final consistency of the batter should be similar to pancake batter, somewhat on the thinner side)
  • 1/2 tbsp aniseed crushed in a mortar
  • Sunflower oil for deep-frying
  • Sugar for sprinkling
Well, my first tweaking is to put more anis liquor and less water... that's very personal.
  1. Break the eggs, mix them in a bowl or food processor and keep a half shell for measuring the liquid ingredients. Add the liquids and then the flour and aniseed.
  2. Mix thoroughly to avoid any lumps.
  3. Transfer the batter to a bowl deep enough to easily accommodate the mold. Sorry that I don't have photos of the process, but I was alone and it wasn't very easy to do everything at the same time.
  4. Pour 6-7cm of sunflower oil in a small frying pan (you can only make one flower at a time with one mold...) and put it on medium heat. In Spain we recommend to use sunflower oil for frying sweets because of its neutral flavor.
  5. When the oil is quite hot, but not releasing any smoke, dip the mold in the oil to heat it (cover it in oil).
  6. Within a minute or two, take the mold out of the pan and dip it in the batter. Be careful not to dip it entirely, leave uncovered a space of around 1cm, otherwise you won't be able to remove the flower. The moment you dip the mold in the batter, this sticks to the mold and it tends to get loose when it's fried.
  7. Completely dip the battered mold in the oil and keep it in until the flower is golden.
  8. Once the flower is golden enough, peel it off the mold pushing carefully with a wooden spoon, in case it's not loose yet. Place the flower on kitchen paper to absorb some of the oil.
  9. Sprinkle with sugar. Cinammon can be added too.

Flores carnaval 8

This is a very crunchy cookie, not oily at all in spite of the frying. They were fantastic... I made them at lunch time and by bedtime there were only four left...

23 comentarios:

NOELLE February 18, 2010 at 2:56 PM  

These look so incredible! What a wonderful tool to create such delicate and elegant treats!

denise @ quickies on the dinner table February 18, 2010 at 3:47 PM  

Yes, there is an almost identical sweet fried biscuit, made using the same kind of mould, in south east Asia called Kueh Rose - they're twins :D

Esperanza February 18, 2010 at 3:47 PM  

I haven't had these in years. Wonderful to see this recipe. Thank you!

Anonymous February 18, 2010 at 7:59 PM  

Wow its a traditional south indian delicacy called achu murukku the recipe is also very very similar it involves adding the sugar instead of sprinkling it and leaving out anise liquor

I cant believe it exists in the same form in 3 different parts of the world

Bellini Valli February 18, 2010 at 9:21 PM  

I have yet to have the priviledge of trying these delicacies...some day ....some day...

Happy Cook February 18, 2010 at 9:34 PM  

They look so crisp and yumm and beautiful.
In Kerala ( India) we have these same cookies which we make for festive period and this reminds me of that time my mom made them in heaps. We make them with coconut milk, rice flour etc.... must try your recipe once.

penny aka jeroxie February 18, 2010 at 9:38 PM  

So alike! There is one sweet biscuit in asia that uses the same mould.... Yumyum!!

Trix February 18, 2010 at 9:39 PM  

That photo is really stunning. Is this sort of like a pizzelle? (If I'm spelling that right.) The anise makes me think so. I would never get through the day without eating them all.

lisaiscooking February 18, 2010 at 10:58 PM  

They look so pretty and crunchy! The batter sounds delicious with the anise.

Anna February 19, 2010 at 1:19 AM  

It looks soooooo pretty, and must be delicious too. I never had anything like that. Definitely going to try it.

Anonymous February 19, 2010 at 2:25 AM  

Cookies of this kind are also very popular in Scandinavia around christmastime:

Lea February 19, 2010 at 8:18 AM  

Rosettes!!! Now I have to go dig up my molds...if hubby hasn't tossed them yet. Amazon sells the molds btw; thought I'd check in case I've lost mine.

MC February 19, 2010 at 4:31 PM  

These flowers are delicate and gorgeous. My Mom used to make similar ones for Carnival but they didn't include anise. The flavor must be incredible!

Simply June February 19, 2010 at 7:49 PM  

You are right...we have almost the same thing in Malaysia. Our batter uses coconut milk and rice flour. In fact I just made some recently :

melrose February 19, 2010 at 8:28 PM  

Thank you for the recipe :)
Never mind that you didn't make the photos of a process...I'll try to make it anyway (hopefouly I understud it:))!!!

All Our Fingers in the Pie February 19, 2010 at 9:33 PM  

What fun!

my spatula February 21, 2010 at 2:49 AM  

wow - absolutely gorgeous flowers!!

Tasty Eats At Home February 22, 2010 at 7:47 PM  

I have never made anything like this before. How gorgeous! I love how you use the mold. Wow. And I bet munching on these is darn easy. :)

Diana Bauman February 23, 2010 at 1:27 AM  

MIriam, These are beautiful! I've never had these before and would love one of those tools. I'm really praying to be able to make it to Spain this year! I miss it dearly!!

Have a wonderful week Miriam!


tasteofbeirut February 24, 2010 at 12:19 AM  

You did not mention the origin of these cookies. Well at least for me the important thing is the word: crunchy and of course "aniseed"
They also look so dramatic, love that too!

Patty February 25, 2010 at 7:22 PM  

these cookies are beeeaaauuutiful! I am looking to make some cookies for a bridal shower coming up in a few weeks and I think I'm going to attempt to do these! I'll need to do a couple of trial runs (not to mention, find the mold!), but hopefully, I'll be able to make them look/taste as good as your looks! Beautiful. These are beautiful!

Alina February 28, 2010 at 6:10 PM  

We also have similar thin oil-fried cookies, they're called Hvorost in Russian! But I've never seen anything as elegant as these Carnival flowers! And I don't think I could achieve such a perfect shape even with this device :-P

Miriam March 10, 2010 at 12:10 PM  

Noelle: thanks!
Denise: so amazing that such similar methods are used so far apart!
Esperanza: you're welcome!
Anon.: thanks for the info! I checked it out, it's amazing.
Val: you will...
Happy Cook: yep, I checked it out! They look so similar!
Penny: yes!
Trix: I'm afraid... I don't know what a pizzelle is... I'm gonna find out.
Lisa: it is delicious!
Anna: thanks!
Anon.: thanks for the info! I had no idea!
Lea: great!
MC: wow, in France too?
Simply June: thanks for the info!
Melrose: it's not difficult.
AOFITP: thanks!
My spatula: thanks!
TEAH: they go fast... yes
Diana: thanks!
TOB: haha, apparently they originally resembled the Cross of the Order of Calatrava.
Patty: mmm, I'm sure they can be a huge success, good luck!
Alina: also in Russia? Such a lot of places, it's so interesting!


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