cannolis

11.27.2009


I've always loved cannolis but always feared making them.  It was the frying part that really intimidates me. However, I'm glad that this month's challenge made me overcome my fears and I ended up having a lot of fun with this recipe. I had a hard time finding cannoli tubes, so I ended up buying a few wooden spoons and used the handles to wrap the pastry dough around. It worked perfectly for mini cannolis. The cannoli cream is heavenly, I can just eat that up with a spoon and cup of espresso. If you have the same fear as I did, skip the shell and make the filling! There will be no regrets.  

shell ingredients 
  • 2 cups (250 grams/16 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons(28 grams/1 ounce) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams/0.06 ounces) unsweetened baking cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.15 grams/0.04 ounces) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (approx. 3 grams/0.11 ounces) salt
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams/1.5 ounces) vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams/0.18 ounces) rice vinegar
  • Approximately 1/2 cup (approx. 59 grams/approx. 4 fluid ounces/approx. 125 ml) white wine
  • 1 large egg, separated (you will need the egg white but not the yolk)
  • Vegetable or any neutral oil for frying – about 2 quarts (8 cups/approx. 2 litres)

filling ingredients
  • 2 lbs (approx. 3.5 cups/approx. 1 kg/32 ounces) ricotta cheese, drained
  • 1 1/3 cups cup (160 grams/6 ounces) confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.15 grams/0.04 ounces) ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams/0.15 ounces) pure vanilla paste
shell directions
  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer or food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the oil, vinegar, and enough of the wine to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and well blended, about 2 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge from 2 hours to overnight.
  2. Cut the dough into two pieces. Keep the remaining dough covered while you work. Lightly flour a large cutting or pastry board and roll the dough until super thin, about 1/16 to 1/8” thick (An area of about 13 inches by 18 inches should give you that). Cut out 3 to 5-inch circles (3-inch – small/medium; 4-inch – medium/large; 5-inch;- large. Your choice). Roll the cut out circle into an oval, rolling it larger and thinner if it’s shrunk a little.
  3. Oil the outside of the cannoli tubes (You only have to do this once, as the oil from the deep fry will keep them well, uhh, oiled..lol). Roll a dough oval from the long side around each tube/form and dab a little egg white on the dough where the edges overlap. (Avoid getting egg white on the tube, or the pastry will stick to it.) Press well to seal. Set aside to let the egg white seal dry a little.
  4. In a deep heavy saucepan, pour enough oil to reach a depth of 3 inches, or if using an electric deep-fryer, follow the manufacturer's directions. Heat the oil to 375°F (190 °C) on a deep fry thermometer, or until a small piece of the dough or bread cube placed in the oil sizzles and browns in 1 minute. Have ready a tray or sheet pan lined with paper towels or paper bags.
  5. Carefully lower a few of the cannoli tubes into the hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. Fry the shells until golden, about 2 minutes, turning them so that they brown evenly.
  6. Lift a cannoli tube with a wire skimmer or large slotted spoon, out of the oil. Using tongs, grasp the cannoli tube at one end. Very carefully remove the cannoli tube with the open sides straight up and down so that the oil flows back into the pan. Place the tube on paper towels or bags to drain. Repeat with the remaining tubes. While they are still hot, grasp the tubes with a potholder and pull the cannoli shells off the tubes with a pair of tongs, or with your hand protected by an oven mitt or towel. Let the shells cool completely on the paper towels. Place shells on cooling rack until ready to fill.
  7. Repeat making and frying the shells with the remaining dough. If you are reusing the cannoli tubes, let them cool before wrapping them in the dough.
filling directions
  1. Line a strainer with cheesecloth. Place the ricotta in the strainer over a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Weight it down with a heavy can, and let the ricotta drain in the refrigerator for several hours to overnight.
  2. In a bowl with electric mixer, beat ricotta until smooth and creamy. Beat in confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and blend until smooth. Chill until firm.(The filling can be made up to 24 hours prior to filling the shells. Just cover and keep refrigerated).
assemble directions
  1. When ready to serve..fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain or star tip, or a ziplock bag, with the ricotta cream. If using a ziplock bag, cut about 1/2 inch off one corner. Insert the tip in the cannoli shell and squeeze gently until the shell is half filled. Turn the shell and fill the other side. You can also use a teaspoon to do this, although it’s messier and will take longer.
  2. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and/or drizzles of melted chocolate if desired.
The November 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. She chose the Italian Pastry, Cannolo (Cannoli is plural), using the cookbooks Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book.

4 comments :

  1. Your cannoli shells look so warty and so blistered well done and yes the filling is delicious. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great job! My cups didn't hold all that much so you can guess where the extra filling went....yup... that's what elastic pants are for.

    ReplyDelete
  3. making just the cream is a really good tip! the frying seems slight more advanced.. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm so glad you were able to just dive in and do it, regardless of your trepidation when it comes to deep frying. Your cannoli turned out gorgeous and yummy looking, and love that you improvised with wooden spoons. Now that's a Daring Baker! Thanks so much for 'deep frying' with me last month!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogging tips