Have you ever tried to make a cannoli? The dough is held together by wine…those damn Italians are flipping geniuses.
But first, let’s manage some expectations. I’m not a food blogger, I didn’t go to school to become a chef or baker (even though ironically my maiden name IS Baker). My father went to school to be a chef, so I learned from him. My mother liked to bake, so I learned from her.
You’ll never hear me call myself a foodie (because I find that word annoying, everyone’s a foodie these days). I just enjoy cooking (and eating) new recipes and finding ones worth making more than once.
I promise to not share hefty paragraphs filled with adjectives about the recipe and only share helpful tricks I learned during the first make. Oh, and don’t expect to see artistic food shots, if I have to see sprinklings of flour and eggs on a cutting board ONE MORE TIME…I’m going to make a meme with Samuel L. Jackson.
You can expect a couple (probably one) real shots of the food because your girl does not have the patience to make everything look perfect for one photo and let’s be honest, how many times does that burger ACTUALLY look like the burger you get?
The cannoli recipe came from Chevron’s Adventures in Italian Cooking which was printed in 1980.
Here’s the recipe:
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoons salt
3 Tablespoons butter
2 egg yolks
Approx. 1/2 cup white wine
Shortening or vegetable oil for frying.
- 1. Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter, then add egg yolks. With a fork, stir in wine, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until dough clings together. Form a ball, cover, and let stand about 30 minutes.
- 2. Roll dough paper thin on floured board and cut 4-inch circles. Wrap circles around metal cannoli tubes, turning each end back to flare slightly. Fry a few at a time in deep fat until golden, about 1 minute. Remove with tongs and drain on paper towels. Carefully slip out tubes after about 5 seconds. Cool shells.
- Before serving. force filling into cannoli shell through a large pastry tube. Sift powdered sugar over pastry shell and garnish filled ends with chopped candied fruits, grated chocolate or chopped nuts.
*makes about 24 pastries.
Note. Shells may be stored in airtight containers for several days prior to filling.
Traditional Ricotta Filling:
4 cups ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to form stiff peaks (optional)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped chocolate
1/3 cup finely chopped mixed candied fruits
- Press ricotta cheese through a wire sieve or blend until smooth in food processor or blender. Mix with powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Add finely chopped candied fruits and shaved chocolate. Chill before using. For a lighter filling, fold in whipped heavy cream.
- After wrapping dough around the cylinder for frying, seal the edges with egg wash. Otherwise, it’s a cannoli roulette as to if the cannoli will stay wrapped while frying, and will be a maddening game of chicken.
- If the cannoli is stuck to the cylinder after frying, pop it in the freezer for a few minutes. Metal shrinks in cold and will help knock the shell off if it’s stuck.
- Golden brown is pretty but dark brown is better. It’s important to get the crisp crunch when you bite into them so don’t be afraid to ‘overcook’ them.
- I used more wine than 1/2 cup, just add a little bit at a time and work the dough.
Would I Make Them Again?
Hell. Yes. Cannolis are my favorite.
Oh, also, I didn’t do candied fruits that sounded disgusting. I did chocolate chip chunks. I used a large freezer Ziploc bag as my ‘pastry bag’ and added the optional heavy whipped cream to make it lighter which was good and airer. If you want a dense and strong filling, skip the heavy whipping cream.
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