I did it to myself again… I signed up for more, this time it’s The Daring Bakers group.
This months challenge Cannolo (Cannoli is plural) was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. Using the cookbooks Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone.
Lisa added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim form either book.
This was my very first time making cannoli and I must confess that I ended up having to make two different batches of dough. The first batch didn’t get rolled out as thinly as it should have and therefore didn’t blister upon frying.
But not all was lost with my first little batch of cannoli, I managed to squeeze a little Soprano humor while I was at it.
The second batch blistered a little bit more, but not as much as I would have liked it to. But being that I made these a couple of days before Thanksgiving, I wasn’t about to attempt to make a third batch.
Lidisano’s Cannoli [A combination of Lidia, Lisa and Sopranos]
2 cups (250 gm/16 oz) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (28 gm/1 oz) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 gm/0.06 oz) unsweetened baking cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon (1.15 gm/0.04 oz) ground cinnamon [I sub’ed w/ espresso powder]
1/2 teaspoon (approx. 3 gm/0.11 oz)salt
3 tablespoons (42 gm/1.5 oz) vegetable or olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 gm/0.18 oz) white wine vinegar
Approximately 1/2 cup (approx. 59 gm/approx. 4 fluid oz/approx. 125 ml) sweet marsala or any white or red wine you have on hand
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 liters)
1/2 cup (approx. 62 gm/2 oz) toasted, chopped pistachio nuts, mini chocolate chips/grated chocolate and/or candied or plain zests, fruits etc. for garnish
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer or a 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 th 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.
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. Cut out 3 to 5 inch circles. Roll the cut circle into an oval, rolling it larger and thinner if it’s shrunk a little.
Oh, yeah? Who knows more about extortion, me or you?
Log off, that “cookies” s*** makes me nervous!
Oil the outside of the cannoli tubes. 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.
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 degrees 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 minutes. Have a tray or sheet plan lined with paper towels or paper bags.
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.
Lift 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.
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.
I altered the cannoli filling recipe a bit…
2 lbs ricotta cheese, drained
2 cups confectioner’s sugar, (more or less, depending on how sweet you want it), sifted
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or the beans from one vanilla bean
1 teaspoon borghetti liqueur
3 tablespoons finely chopped good quality chocolate of your choice
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons toasted, finely chopped pistachios
3 tablespoons finely chopped dark chocolate chips, chocolate Jimmies, or mini chocolate chops
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.
In a bowl with electric mixer, beat ricotta until smooth and creamy. Beat in confectioner’s sugar, espresso powder, cocoa powder, vanilla and blend until smooth. transfer to another bowl and stir in chopped chocolate, jimmies, or mini chocolate chips. Chill until firm. (The filling can be made up to 24 hours prior t filling the shells. Just cover and keep refrigerated).
When ready to serve, fill a pastry bag fitted with 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.
Press or dip the cannoli in chopped pistachios, chopped chocolate,chocolate jimmies, or mini chocolate chips. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and/or drizzle with melted chocolate if desired.
Assemble the Cannoli
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.