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Diples, also called thiples, is a Greek dessert made of fried pastry dough.The flattened, fried dough is coated in a citrus-flavored syrup and topped with toasted sesame seeds. Though simple diples can be any shape, cooks who are experienced with making this dessert can make it into a variety of decorative shapes, such as tubes or rosettes. This dish is most often made with a sugar-and-citrus based syrup, but the traditional version uses honey.
Diples dough is rolled out flat before it is fried. When it is fried, it curls and bubbles as it becomes crispy. Some diples are designed to look like blooming flowers, while others resemble something closer to a chip or an unfilled rolled taco.
In its least decoratively presented form, this dessert looks much like the fried wonton sheets served at many Chinese restaurants, but is generally less bumpy and bubbly. Made without the extra visual flair, they are much like square chips. The syrup coating gives these crunchy treats a light sheen.
Dough used to make diples typically is made from eggs, milk, and wheat flour in addition to the flavoring agents used to give them their distinct citrus spice flavor. The dough often contains chopped walnuts as well. Diples are generally served cold one or two days after they have been fried. They are rarely eaten fresh. Since this crispy pastry dish often is topped with a honey-based syrup, it is sometimes compared to baklava, a treat made with a special pastry dough and honey, but diples are much simpler to make.
Some recipes include lemon zest as part of the pastry mixture, imparting a citrus flavor to the dough. Other recipes leave the citrus out of the dough, but call for the zest to be included in the syrup that coats the diples. Still others call for citrus in both the dough and the syrup, which gives the dish a stronger overall citrus flavor.
Diples pastry dough is generally spiced with ouzo, a common alcoholic drink in Greece. Ouzo is flavored alcohol, a spiced liqueur made by distilling alcohol with spices, most frequently anise, but it can also include other spices like cloves and cinnamon. Alcohol used for ouzo is usually originally made from grape peels. True ouzo is only made in Greece. Less commonly, it is made with a drink called Mataxa brandy, which is a special blend of brandy and wine.
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