Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron's Choclatique, Running Press, 2011


Cannoli originated in Sicily, at the southern tip of Italy. Kind of like an Italian cheesecake in a tube, it is an essential part of Sicilian culture. Throughout the years cannoli has become as popular in America as they are in Italy.

Cannoli has two parts—the tube-shaped shells of fried pastry dough and a filling of sweet, creamy flavored ricotta. Cannoli range in size from "cannulicchi," no bigger than a little finger, to large diameter, cigar-sized proportions.

My recipe adds chocolate flavor to the traditional ricotta cream filling. While they take about an hour or so to make they’re certainly worth it as a finale to a simple bowl of meatballs and spaghetti or a great Italian culinary feast. Wow! Now that’s Italian!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Ready In: 60 minutes
Yield: 10-12 Stuffed Cannoli

Ingredients:
For the Shells:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons shortening
1 egg white (large egg)
3/4 cup red wine (inexpensive Chianti will do nicely)
1 1/2 quarts oil for deep frying

For the Filling:
1 1/2 pounds ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup Choclatique Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped, candied orange peel
1/4 cup rough chopped, roasted pistachio nuts
1/2 cup ground, roasted pistachio nuts

Directions:
To Make the Cannoli Shells:

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Blend in the shortening and egg white. Add the red wine one tablespoon at a time until the mixture forms a ball. Knead the dough just to bring it together. Cover and let rest for half an hour.
  2. Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375º F.
  3. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 4 inch long ovals. Using a fork or pairing knife, poke holes in the ovals to prevent puffing.
  4. Place a metal cannoli tube onto the oval lengthwise and roll up with edges overlapping; seal with a dab of egg white.
  5. Fry cannoli shells 2 or 3 at a time in the hot oil. When golden brown and lightly blistered, remove from the oil to drain on paper towels. Remove tubes.

To Make the Cannoli Filling:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder. Fold in the vanilla extract, chocolate chips, candied orange peel and chopped pistachios.
  2. Chill the ricotta mixture for at least half an hour before filling shells.
  3. Drain off any excess liquid and spoon the filling into a pastry bag.
  4. Carefully fill the cannoli shells and smooth off at the edges.
  5. Dip the open ends of the filled cannoli in the ground pistachios so that it clings to the cheese filling.
  6. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

ChefSecrets: The shells can be made a day or two ahead of time and held in an air tight container. For a creamier filling, replace 8 Oz. of the ricotta cheese with 8 Oz. of mascarpone cheese or cream cheese.

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Comment by Mary Synk on October 13, 2013 at 11:27pm
these sound so good. I am working on trying to make a key lime dipped in chocolate version...not there yet,

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