Few things this side of heaven can come close to cannoli – the classic Italian cinnamon-infused pastry with a rich ricotta filling. A truly decadent dessert with roots in Sicily, cannoli is often served dipped in pistachios and chocolate.
Ingredients for filling
Icing sugar, ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese, lemons, lemon zest, and shelled and finely chopped unsalted pistachios are used for filling cannoli.
Ingredients for shells
All-purpose flour, caster sugar, bicarbonate of soda, coarse salt, ground cinnamon, allspice, marsala wine, free-range egg white, lightly beaten unsalted butter, canola oil and unsweetened cocoa powder are used in the shells.
According to Jamie Oliver, this dessert can give even the novice cook a veneer of sophistication and a great opportunity to show off at their next cocktail party when prepared correctly. Are you keen to indulge in this authentic old-world Italian yumminess but feel slightly overwhelmed by the mere thought of reproducing these beauties at home? If so, consider booking a table at a local Italian restaurant in Dublin such as http://www.forno500.ie.
Method of preparation
1. Start by preparing the filling. Spoon ricotta into a sieve lined with cheesecloth, cover and allow to drain in the fridge overnight.
2. Beat ricotta, mascarpone and sugar using an electric mixer until light and fluffy, adding cocoa powder, lemon zest and juice. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
3. To make the shells, sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, bicarbonate, cinnamon, allspice and salt into the bowl. Rub in butter and add wine until a firm dough is formed.
4. Knead the dough on a lightly-floured surface until smooth and elastic. Wrap in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
5. Cut the dough into pieces and roll out thinly before cutting out circles about 11cm in diameter. Wrap each one around a cannoli mould, using egg white to stick the edges down.
6. Deep fry the shells until golden for about one minute until the dough bubbles and blisters. Dry the shells off and cool on paper towels.
7. Melt chocolate over a pan of simmering water and dip one end of each cannoli shell into chocolate and then into pistachios. Set on parchment paper.
8. Pipe the ricotta mixture into both ends of the shells and dust with icing sugar. Serve immediately.