Three Cheese Macaroni

Comfort Food: Lasagna

BBQ Grilled Cheese

Pork Sandwiches

Holy Cannoli!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My November challenge for the Daring Kitchen was to make Cannoli. YUM! Was the first word that came to mind. Nothing is better than bakery goodness and it had to be easier than sushi.. right?  

Well - the biggest challenge was finding the actual cannoli forming tubes. I thought Bed, Bath & Beyond would have them for sure. No. Neither did Walmart or Target... So I decided to make one last look at the kitchen store in town called Kitchen Sync. Sure enough - they had one pack sitting out. Awesome! Some people got really creative on the blog site and used the ends of broomsticks - but I wanted the real deal. If I'm going to do this challenge, I'm going to do it right (to the best of my ability that is). 

Now that I had the right tools, It was time to make the dough.  Cannoli dough ends up being very tough. I was working up a sweat just trying to roll it out.  I still didn't get it as thin as I was supposed to, but it did the job. 
I lied, the first thing I did was make the filling - it was made out of ricotta cheese and a few other tasty ingredients that made ricotta cheese taste like something I've never had before. You should definitely try it. I used the leftovers for an apple dip - again, YUM. 

The cannoli turned out great for the most part. I had a couple detach from the rolls while deep-frying them, but they still taste good regardless.  It was important to grab the cannoli roll from one end while taking it out of the deep-fryer, so that grease didn't spill all over the counter, or my hands. Another important trick is to take the roll out from the cannoli almost immediately after taking it out of the fryer. Otherwise, the cannoli will stick and you will cry as you break it off of the roll.. trust me. 

If you're looking for a fun treat to make for the holidays - try this recipe. It's very fun to make and tastes awesome. I didn't add nuts or any abnormal thing that was listed in the ingredients for the filling. You can tailor that to your taste buds. 

Lidisano’s Cannoli 
Makes 22-24 4-inch cannoli 
Prep time: Dough – 2 hours and 10-20 minutes, including resting time, and depending on whether you do it by hand or machine. 
Filling – 5-10 minutes plus chilling time (about 2 hours or more) 
Frying – 1-2 minutes per cannoli Assemble – 20–30 minutes


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) white wine vinegar 
Approximately 1/2 cup (approx. 59 grams/approx. 4 fluid ounces/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 litres) 
1/2 cup (approx. 62 grams/2 ounces) toasted, chopped pistachio nuts, mini chocolate chips/grated chocolate and/or candied or plain zests, fruits etc.. for garnish Confectioners' sugar

2 lbs (approx. 3.5 cups/approx. 1 kg/32 ounces) ricotta cheese, drained 
1 2/3 cups cup (160 grams/6 ounces) confectioner’s sugar, (more or less, depending on how sweet you want it), sifted 
1/2 teaspoon (1.15 grams/0.04 ounces) ground cinnamon 
1 teaspoon (4 grams/0.15 ounces) pure vanilla extract or the beans from one vanilla bean 
3 tablespoons (approx. 28 grams/approx. 1 ounce) finely chopped good quality chocolate of your choice 
2 tablespoons (12 grams/0.42 ounces) of finely chopped, candied orange peel, or the grated zest of one small to medium orange 
3 tablespoons (23 grams/0.81 ounce) toasted, finely chopped pistachios
Note - If you want chocolate ricotta filling, add a few tablespoons of dark, unsweetened cocoa powder to the above recipe, and thin it out with a few drops of warm water if too thick to pipe.

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, Roll a dough oval from the long side (If square, position like a diamond, and place tube/form on the corner closest to you, then roll) 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.

Happy Cannoli Making!!!


Lana said...

OH YUM. I love cannolis!

December 2, 2009 at 5:15 PM

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