Friday, November 27, 2009


Daring Bakers November Challenge: Cannoli

     Inside out pie, that's what a cannoli is.  A light crispy shell filled with a sweet creamy filling, bursting apart in your mouth. One of the most perfect desserts.
     The November 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of  Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives . She chose the Italian Pastry, Cannolo (Cannoli is plural), using the cookbooks Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book. If you want her recipe just drop on over to her blog.  Thank You Lisa for picking such a delicious challenge.

This challenge was the perfect way to start  our holiday baking.  Cannoli are a special treat our family makes  only during the Christmas season.  Cannoli making is a great group activity.  Many of the Italian families I know have cannoli making parties.  All of the Aunts gather together and make dozens of cannoli shells.   The recipe that I used is one that had been given to me many years ago  at one such party.  It yields perfectly sweet,  and crispy cannoli shells.

Cannoli Shells
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 Tablespoons cold butter cut in small pieces
about 1/4 cup Sauterne
1 egg white, slightly beaten.
Oil for frying
Ricotta cheese filling
Blend flour with salt and sugar in a bowl.  Make a well in the center; add egg and butter to well.  Stir with a fork, working from the center out to moisten flour mixture.  Add wine 1 tablespoon at a time until dough begins to cling together. Use your hands to from dough into a ball.  Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
Using a pasta machine roll dough to 1/16 inch thick. I go to the 5th of six settings on my Atlas pasta machine. Cut dough into 3 inch circles, with a rolling pin roll circles into ovals. Wrap each oval around cannoli tubes; seal edge with egg white.

Fry in hot oil until golden brown.  Cool and fill just before serving.

Ricotta Filling:
 1 lb ricotta cheese
1 /12 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup whipping cream whipped

Whirl ricotta cheese in food processor until smooth and creamy.  Beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla, fold in whipped cream. Cover and chill for several hours.
If you like stir in:
1/4 cup finely chopped chocolate
1/4 cup each finely chopped candied citron and candied orange peel.
 Fill cannoli shells just prior to eating, do not pre fill or the shells will loose their crispness.