Thursday, November 17, 2016

Cannoli, a Sicilian dessert

Cannoli is an Italy dessert, from the region of Sicily. they are tube shaped fried pastry shell, filled with  creamy filling of ricotta, sugar and vanilla essence. You can dust them with powdered sugar. A perfect ending to an Italian or any meal :)
I  first tried these yummilicious cannoli's in a Italian area in Boston, when I went o meet my daughter who studies in Harvard in Boston. The store had a great display of cannoli's and enjoyed the taste, while sipping some coffee, that goes great with cannoli.
This made me want to search for that perfect recipe that would excite my taste buds and here it is tried and tasted!!

Ingredients: ( To prepare the dough for pastry shells)
1.5 cup flour
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp cold unsalted butter cut into pieces
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup white wine( I prefer to use white wine, original recipe also says Marsala wine, choice is yours )


For filling 
1.5 cup ricotta cheese ( strain the excess water out from ricotta cheese, you can use a muslin or cheese cloth and drain the water out) at least 30  minutes before  using, refrigerate.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla essence 
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips ( optional , you can use pistachios or any other nuts, or candied cherries as a topping)
1 egg for egg wash
Vegetable Oil for frying 
Powdered sugar to dust over prepared  Cannoli

Method: for preparing dough
1. For the dough sieve together flour ,salt and sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the cold chopped butter, rubbing the butter into the flour with your fingers, till it appears coarse. Add in egg and mix in wine . Form a dough ball and flatten over a flat surface. Wrap a plastic wrap and allow the dough to cool.

Sieved dough, salt,sugar and cold butter 

Add egg yolk and white wine to dough

Knead and wrap dough in plastic wrap

Method for preparing filling.
1.Put the drained ricotta, into another mixing bowl, add sugar, vanilla essence and cinnamon.
2.Mix heavy cream with a whisk, and using a spoon gently folded cream into  ricotta.Stir in chocolate chips and put this  filling mixture into a pastry bag, that has no tip and refrigerate till ready to use.
whisk ricotta cheese, sugar 

Add cinnamon powder, vanilla essence

Add whipped full cream and choco chips 

Fold carefully and store as filling in refrigerator 

For preparing  Cannoli's

1.Remove the plastic wrap, and place  dough on to a flat surface, dusted with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll out a thin sheet of dough approximately 1/4 th thickness.
2.Using a glass bowl or any bowl that is about 2 to 3 inch in diameter cut out disc's of  dough.
3.Using  cannoli mold, wrap each cut out circle onto the mold.Seal the ends with a little egg wash, and flare the ends, this alos helps with the filling later on.
4.Heat oil to 250 F and using kitchen tongs carefully submerge the wrapped cannoli to cook the shells, on medium heat. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, and remove the cannoli mold from oil , using a tong onto a paper towel. Gently using a towel,hold the mold and slide off the prepared shell off the mold.
5.Repeat the process to complete making all the pastry shells.


Divide dough into halves

Roll out dough as big as 1/4 inch thickness 
Using a cup cut out smaller circles of dough and wrap each on a cannoli mold 
Seal ends with an egg wash 

Filling the cannoli shells:
1. Just before serving, using a pastry bag without a tip squeeze out the filling into both ends of pastry shell.
Even you can use a ziploc bag, fill the bag with ricotta filling, seal from one side and clip off a slit on the corner of the other side.
Dust with powdered sugar and serve, enjoy with coffee or after a meal :)


 One can  prepare the Cannoli's about 60 minutes before and refrigerate to enjoy later. Don't store filled shells for longer time as crispy shells is better.

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