Chin chin is a sweet snack popular in West Africa. The classic recipe uses regional spices, wheat flour, butter, milk, sugar, and optionally eggs. You take all these ingredients, knead them into a cookie-like dough, cut it into tiny cubes or strips which you then deep fry.
We first set out to make dairy-free chin chins, but then decided to take it a step further. So we made this chin chin recipe vegan, 100% sugar-free, and oven-baked!
In the FAQ section we'll give you the option to fry these sweet bites, if you prefer. But we suggest you stick with the oven-baked version. With the right oven settings, chin chins come out equally crispy but much healthier.
The problem with tiny snacks is that they are so easy to gorge on, you may finish a whole bucket before realising it! To try and mitigate this problem, we increased the number of fibres by using wholemeal wheat. Fibre-rich foods make us feel satiated more quickly and for longer — promoting measured eating.
And if you are wondering how we made sweet chin chins without using any sugars, we did it with zero-carbs sweetener erythritol. We talk about more low-sugar options in the FAQ section at the bottom of the page.
Overall, this is a super simple recipe, and it makes delightful treats that you can take with you or enjoy in between meals. Check out the nutrients to see how healthy these chin chins are, and enjoy them while they last!
How do you make fried chin chin?
We decided to oven-baked these sweet snacks to keep the calories and fats low.
However, you can also prepare them the traditional way, that is by deep-frying them.
To do so, pour the vegetable oil in a skillet making sure it's at least 5 cm (2 inches) deep. Then, heat the oil to 190°C (375°F), tip in the cut squares, and fry them until golden and crispy. Finally, drain excess oil and pat the chin chin dry with kitchen paper before serving them.
What can I use instead of erythritol?
Erythritol is a zero-calorie natural sweetener that it's perfect for replacing refined white sugar in healthy bakes. It's 70% as sweet as sugar, so if a recipe calls for 100g (3.5 oz) of white sugar, you can swap it with 140g (5 oz) of erythritol to get an equivalent sweetness.
If you don't find it, you can choose any substitute from the following options:
Stevia - follow the instructions on the packet as this sweetener is often mixed with other ingredients or it comes in different forms like crystals, powder, or liquid.
Coconut Sugar - use it in the same amount as sugar as it converts in ratio 1:1.
Maple Syrup - decrease the amount by 1/4 and also decrease the liquid ingredients by a few tablespoons
Honey - same as maple syrup
How long do they keep?
When properly stored, these Nigerian snacks can last up to 3-4 days.
We recommend that after baking them, you leave the chin chins to cool down evenly on a wire rack. By doing so, they crisp up even more and lose any excess steam and moisture. Then, transfer them into an airtight container, preferably one made of glass or tin.
|Erythritol (or Stevia)
In a mixing bowl, combine the wholemeal flour with starch, erythritol, baking powder, salt, and ground nutmeg (1).
Instead of erythritol, you can use other sweeteners like Stevia, check out our FAQ below for more tips.
Give all a good stir to distribute the baking powder evenly, and then incorporate the lemon zest, 35 mL of vegetable oil, and almond milk (2).
Work the ingredients into a compact and slightly sticky dough.
If it's too dry, add a splash of milk, or, if too wet, add some flour and keep kneading.
Now, roll the dough into a ball and refrigerate it for 5-10 minutes. This way, it will be easier to handle and cut.
Next, roll out the chilled dough in between two sheets of baking paper to a 1/2 cm (1/5 inch) thickness.
Then, use a wheel cutter or sharp knife to cut out small squares, about 2 x 2 cm (0.8 x 0.8 inches).
If you wet the cutter blades with cold water, you'll get a neater cut easily.
Now, transfer the chin chins onto a tray lined with baking paper and brush them with the remaining 15 mL of oil (1).
Then, bake them in the preheated oven for 20 minutes at 190°C (375°F) for static ovens or at 170°C (340°F) for fan ovens.
Once golden and crispy, transfer them on a wire rack to cool down evenly (2).
If you prefer the classic deep-fried chin chins, then check out our FAQ below for tips on how to make them.
You can swap the equivalent of 2 tablespoons of potato starch with one mashed banana or plantain.