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At every celebration or gathering, my family never begins the meal without a toast to the family’s health and good luck. However as an Italian family we never used the word “salute” instead as we clink glasses each one declares “cin cin” (pronouced “chin chin”). Young and old alike and no one misses out. My children have also picked up this tradition.  
So this past wet and gloomy weekend when I was looking for a deep fried indulgence I couldn’t go past “A Bakers Odyssey” recipe Chin Chin. These crunchy nuggets are a Nigerian classic snack served with drinks or coffee, at parties, weddings and given as hostest gifts.
Hubby called them “crunchy doughnuts” and my darling son asked if there was any chocolate fondue he could dip them into.
Dunking them into melted chocolate?
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you they keep well for 1 or 2 weeks in an airtight container,
if they last that long!
You will need freshly grated nutmeg for this recipe.

Chin Chin

Makes about 4 cups of small nuggets

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
8 tablespoons (1 stick/115g) cold, salted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup water, plus more if needed

vegetable oil for deep frying

Put the flour, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and baking powder into a medium bowl and mix well with fingers. Add the butter pieces and rub them into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles fine crumbs. This will take a little bit of time. With a knife slowly mix in the water. Bring the dough together with your hands to form a soft non sticky dough. You might need to add a little more water.

To shape the Chin Chin, divide the dough into 3. Roll out each piece on a lightly floured surface until just 3/16in (about 5mm) thick. Cut into 3/4in  (2cm) strips.

…and cut each strip into 1/2in (1.5cm) pieces
Pour about 1 1/2 inches (about 4 cm) of oil into a large heavy pot.  Use a deep fry thermometer to heat the oil to 360F to 370F (about 182C to 187C) over medium heat. Line a large baking tray with paper towels. Carefully add handfuls of the chin chin. I found it was easier to put a handful onto a slotted spoon and lower the spoon carefully into the oil.
Cook, stirring almost constantly…

…until the chin chin are a uniform deep brown colour.

Remove the chin chin onto the paper towel lined baking tray to drain. Continue cooking the remaining chin chin. Let them cool completely.
Crunchy and moreish.
 By the way, did you check out Greg Patent’ blog. He limited autographed copies of A Baker’s Odyssey for sale. After these are sold A Baker’s Odyssey will be out of print.

Ahhhhh! A Baker's Odyssey is about to go out of…
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