How To Make Chin Chin
Published Dec 19, 2023
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Learn how to make Chin Chin that is highly flavorful, crunchy, with just the right amount of sweetness, and made with easy-to-find ingredients. It is hard to stop eating this tasty snack!
Growing up in Cameroon, every Christmas we had to have Chin Chin, a deep-fried snack that is crunchy and tastes like cookies. It is how we brought in the Christmas cheer.
After making countless batches, I am pleased to share with you a step-by-step guide on how to make this Central and West African snack. Here you will find everything you need to know about how to make chin chin.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
There are several reasons to learn how to make Chin Chin whether you grew up eating it or not:
- Rich in flavor! These are so good, that it requires a bit of discipline to stop eating them.
- Makes a great snack! Pair chin chin with some tea or a chilled drink for an afternoon snack.
- Makes a great gift! Chin Chin in a mason jar with a bow wrapped around is the perfect edible gift!
What is Chin Chin?
Chin Chin is a popular Central and West African snack eaten in countries like Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon. It is called “Les Croquettes” in French.
The ingredients for Chin Chin are pretty simple: flour, butter, sugar, eggs, milk, baking powder, salt, and some sort of flavor like nutmeg or vanilla.
Every ingredient here works together beautifully to produce perfectly crisp yet easy-to-chew Chin Chin, which is how the snack should be.
All ingredients are combined to form a dough which is then rolled out, cut into different shapes then deep fried. As they cool, they turn crunchy and just delicious.
See the recipe card below with a detailed list of ingredients and instructions.
What Does Chin Chin Taste Like?
It tastes like cake with the texture of crispy cookies. The taste might slightly vary depending on the flavors added. See flavor variation ideas below!
I add freshly grated nutmeg and some orange zest to make it insanely delicious!
Please note that I used a macro camera lens so the chin chin might appear larger than it is.
Chin Chin Recipe Step-By-Step
Here is how to make chin chin in 4 easy steps:
- Make the dough. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer to make the dough.
- Roll out and cut the dough. Cut the dough into strips or squares. Use a knife, pizza cutter, or pasta machine to cut the dough.
- Fry the strips in hot oil. The oil should not be too hot so it doesn’t brown rapidly.
- Keep frying until golden brown. Then remove the chin chin from the oil and place it on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
Allow Chin Chin to cool down completely before tasting it for crunchiness. When it’s still hot, it won’t be as crunchy.
- Cinnamon Chin Chin: Add cinnamon powder to the dough.
- Coconut Chin Chin: Use coconut milk instead of evaporated milk and add coconut extract.
- Savory Chin Chin: Omit the sugar and instead add garlic and onion powder for a savory delight.
Do not overcrowd the frying pan when frying and ensure the oil is hot enough. Fry only a small quantity of Chin Chin at once. Avoid the temptation of placing a huge quantity of Chin Chin into the pan at once. I have found after years and years of making Chin Chin that overcrowding leads to the oil foaming.
The right ratio of ingredients will result in chin chin that is not too hard. Please do not eyeball the recipe. Follow it as written for the best results.
Yes, you definitely can bake chin chin. I recommend adding more margarine or butter to the baked version so it doesn’t harden up in the oven.
- The dough should spring back up when pressed down with a finger. A sticky dough won’t work for chin chin.
- If the chin chin is soft after frying and cooling, it wasn’t fried long enough or it was cut too thick.
- Stir chin chin as it fries in oil to promote even browning.
- For a milky-rich flavor, add whole powdered milk to the dough.
- If cutting the shapes is a problem use your hands to form peanut-sized balls out of the dough and deep fry.
- For a richer flavor, use good-quality softened butter instead of margarine. Kerrygold is a good butter to use here.
- To make ahead, make the dough and keep it in the refrigerator overnight. Then bring the dough to room temperature, before rolling, cutting, and frying.
This recipe was first published on April 21st, 2017, and then updated on December 13, 2019, with more pictures. Now the recipe has been tweaked to make a better dough, some portions rewritten for more clarity and the whole post has been refreshed with newer photos and tips.
If you make this recipe please leave a star rating below. Your rating helps others find the recipe plus I love hearing from you! Thank you!
How To Make Chin Chin
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon orange zest from one orange
- 1 cup evaporated milk not sweetened
- ½ cup margarine or softened salted butter
- 2 large eggs
- Neutral oil for frying I used canola oil. You could use vegetable oil
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, grated nutmeg, and orange zest. Add the evaporated milk, margarine, and eggs, then mix to form a dough, kneading by hand or with the machine.
- Cut a small portion of the dough about the size of a golf ball then roll out to 1/8 inch thick and cut with a knife or pizza cutter into squares or thin strips. You could also use a pasta maker to cut the dough into strips. Place the cut dough on a baking sheet or tray lined with parchment paper.
- Pour oil into a heavy bottom pot like a cast iron pot up to 4 inches. Heat the oil on high heat for about 10 minutes then reduce the heat to medium and start frying chin chin in small batches. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan so the chin chin doesn't soak up the oil or cause a lot of foam. Fry each batch until golden brown then remove and place on paper towels to drain the excess oil.
- When chin chin cools completely, store it for up to a month in an airtight container. Enjoy as a snack with juice, milk, or your favourite drink!