Struffoli is a traditional Italian holiday sweet that has many names and different regional variations. My grandmother used to make a very simple, tasty, and crispy version by rolling out tiny balls of dough that were fried in light olive oil until golden brown. Then they were covered with honey and colored sprinkles.
My version is fermented like Chinese noodles were thousands of years ago, made with garbanzo bean flour, and topped with lactofermented sour cheeries steeped in honey cooked to the soft ball stage with a traditional Japanese umeboshi (apricot) liquor. I made these recently and my family would not touch them.
They are very tasty, gluten free, and when made with a pasta maker and a sharp knife very easy. They don’t have the same crisp crunch or taste of her dozen eggs, five pounds of flour recipe, but only a fool would try to replicate the different treasures made by their grandmother.
- 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) chickpea flour
- 1/4 cup (48 grams) milk kefir
- 1 tsp shio-koji (or salt)
- 3 eggs
- 1 TB vanilla
Ferment in refrigerator for 48 hours, then add:
- 1 TB baking powder
- 1/4 cup Haiga rice bran or rice flour
- 3 TB refined coconut oil
- 1 tsp Xanthan gum, guar gum, agar or tapioca starch
Refrigerate another 24 hours. Either roll out thickly, or put through the thickest setting of a pasta machine. You could also make thick spaghetti or thick flat pasta and cut the strands into little pieces about a quarter inch thick. Refrigerate to harden.
Fry until golden in two batches of 350F light olive oil. Drain. Let them cool as with all gluten free items before tasting or transporting. Coat with pre-made honey Choya (plum liquor) sauce.
- 1/2 cup (78 grams) sour dried cherries
- 1/2 cup (118 grams) honey
- 1/2 cup (92 grams) water
- 1/4 cup of Choya that has been boiled down to a quarter of it’s volume.
When the syrup reaches the soft ball stage – it will look very much thicker – and is foaming remove from heat and pour on warm dough and mix. Caution this is very hot sugar! Mold into a ring or mound. Toasted blanched almond slices can be added.