Cannoli are a delicious and scrumptious Italian dessert, that is a staple of Sicilian cuisine. They are tubular shells of fried dough filled with various fillings, which usually have a ricotta cheese base.
Though you may have only had cannoli in high-grade Italian restaurants, they aren’t that difficult to make at home. If you know the authentic recipe, you can easily make these exquisite pastries.
Therefore, in today’s post, we are going to tell you the detailed ingredients and procedure for making delicious and flavorful cannoli. Keep reading to learn more.
The process of making cannoli includes three primary phases. Firstly, you need to make the perfect shells. Secondly, you need to make a filling of your choice. People use numerous recipes for the filling; however, we are going to stick with the classic and authentic Sicilian, ricotta cheese recipe. Finally, you will need to garnish the cannoli. Here is the list of the ingredients you will need for all of these phases.
To make the shells:
- Two cups of all-purpose flour
- A tablespoon of Granulated sugar
- A quarter teaspoon of kosher salt
- Two and a quarter tablespoon worth of unsalted butter cut into small pieces.
- The yolk of one egg
- Half a cup of any white wine of your choice.
- Sunflower or canola oil for frying
To make the filling:
- A couple of cups of preferably whole milk ricotta cheese
- Three-quarters of a cup of powdered sugar
- A teaspoon of ground cinnamon or cinnamon powder
- A quarter teaspoon of allspice
- Authentic Marsala wine
- A quarter cup of heavy cream
- A quarter cup of chocolate chips, preferable with a fifty or sixty per cent cocoa content.
To garnish the cannoli:
- Icing sugar for dusting
- Ground pistachios
Step 1: The dough:
Firstly, you need to make the cannoli shells. For that, you need to start with a medium-sized bowl and sift in the flour. Add granulated sugar and salt and mix to combine. Now, cut the butter into small pieces and work it into your flour and sugar mixture until it develops a coarse and sand-like consistency. Add the yolk of one large egg along with marsala wine.
Now that we know, Marsala wine can be difficult to find outside of Italy. The recipe can be made with any other dry white wine; however, for an authentic Italian cannoli recipe, you need to use marsala wine.
Use the wine for kneading the flour until you get a smooth dough. Now, lay some plastic wrap on the counter and place the dough in the centre. Cover the dough loosely with the wrap and flatten it. Flattening the dough will make it easier to roll out later.
Let the dough rest in a cold environment, preferably the refrigerator for a while before frying it.
Step 2: The filling:
While the dough is resting in the refrigerator, you can take the time to prepare the filling for the cannoli. Throw the ricotta cheese into a medium-sized bowl and whisk it until it becomes smooth. However, if the ricotta has some excess water, make sure to let it rest in the strainer for at least half an hour before making the filling.
Sift in the powdered sugar, allspice and cinnamon powder and mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are combined consistently.
Whisk the heavy cream vigorously in a separate bowl until it becomes relatively stiff. Use a rubber spatula to fold the whipped cream into the ricotta cheese mixture gently. Remember to be gentle; otherwise, you may remove the air out of the whipped cream.
Throw in the chocolate chips and add some light lemon zest into the entire mixture. Place the prepared filling in the refrigerator until it’s time to use it.
Step 3: Roll and fry the shells:
In a medium-sized pot, heat the canola or sunflower oil to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oil is heating, lightly flour a flat work surface and your rolling pin and roll your dough until it is about one-eighth of an inch thick. Use a round pastry cutter, or a glass to cut out small circles from the dough. Combine the spare pieces of dough and roll them out again to make an extra cannoli shell. Wrap the circles around a cannoli mould and brush with egg wash. Deep fry the dough in the oil for two to three minutes until golden and crisp. Your shells are prepared and ready to be filled.
Step 4: fill the shells:
Right before serving the cannoli, take the filling out of the refrigerator, add it to a pastry piping bag without a tip, and pipe it into the cannoli shells. Remember to fill the shells from both ends to make sure that they are completely filled.
Remember to let the shells cool down on a wire rack before you start filling them. The hot shells may not hold their shape properly, and the heat can begin to melt the ricotta cheese, which can ruin the whole recipe. Therefore, make sure that the shells are at room temperature before you start filling them.
Step 5: Garnish the cannoli:
Lastly, sprinkle some powdered or icing sugar on pastries, along with some crushed pistachios for extra sweetness and presentation. It will add some texture to the exterior, and it will give the cannoli a professional bakery touch.
You can also use any other garnish of your choice. For instance, many people use strawberry jam, and nuts, however, for the authentic cannoli experience, you should stick with the classic powdered sugar and crushed pistachios.
To sum it all up, we know that to get the best cannoli, you need to visit Sicily. There is no other place in the world that can compete with it. The environment, the flavour and the aroma in Italy make for an excellent experience. Now, we don’t claim that this recipe is the best, but it is the most authentic one you will get outside a local Sicilian bakery. Therefore, we hope that you find this post informative and useful.
This post is written by Line Arias who has been working as a nutritionist for ten years now. She recently collaborated with health and fitness spa, NYC, and since then, she has been working on weight loss’ meal prep plans.
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