For my last entry, I used leftover pork from tamales to make a roast pork sandwich; today’s entry is using leftover ricotta from the cheese blintz post to make cannolis! I usually make cannolis with a ricotta and chocolate chip creme filling but today I decided to try a new cinnamon filling while dipping the shells in chocolate and pistachios. Pleasant for the eyes and the mouth!
1 hrTotal Time
Yields 24 cannoli
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp + 2 tsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups ricotta cheese, preferably whole milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
zest of 1 lemon
1 quart canola oil, for frying
flour for rolling
1 egg lightly beaten for egg wash
8 oz semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup pistachios, shells removed, chopped fine
powdered sugar, optional
Make the dough for the shells by sifting together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work the butter pieces into the dry mixture with your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the egg yolk and white wine. Mix until dough becomes smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic and flatten. Rest in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
Prepare the filling. Whisk the ricotta until smooth. Sift in the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and allspice and mix to combine. In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the whipped cream into the ricotta mix. Stir in the lemon zest and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Heat your frying oil to 350 degrees F. Remove the dough from the fridge. Dust your work counter and rolling pin with flour. Roll out the dough until about 1/8 inch thick. Cut the dough into four portions, working in small batches. Cut 3-4 inch circles out of the dough to have a total of 24 circles. Wrap each circle around a cannoli mold. Brush egg wash on the edge of the round to seal it onto the mold. Slightly flare the edges out from the mold to allow the oil to penetrate each cannoli shell as they fry. Carefully drop the mold into the fryer, holding it with tongs and fry until the shell is golden and crispy about 2-3 minutes. Remove the shell from the mold and set aside to cool. Repeat with the remaining circles.
Once the shells have cooled, prepare to dip in chocolate. Melt chocolate over a double boiler with the heat on low. Dip one end of the shell into the chocolate, rotating the shell to evenly coat with the chocolate. Immediately dip the chocolate covered end into the chopped pistachios. Lay on a lined baking sheet and let the chocolate cool. Repeat with the remaining shells.
Fill the cannolis once the chocolate has set. Transfer the fillings to a pastry bag without a tip. Pipe the filling into the shells so that the cream runs through the whole shell. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures for when I made the shells because I made them a couple months ago for an event and just decided to use the leftovers today. If you feel like the shells are too much work (which I’m not going to lie, it is) you can always just buy the already made ones at the market.
When making the shells, you must, must, must have the molds! Unless you have another cylindrical metal mold that can work, you cannot fry the shells free form.
Be careful when removing the shells from the mold since the mold itself will be scorching hot! Use tongs to hold the molds while carefully sliding the shells off.
For the filling, I highly recommend using whole milk ricotta. I tried to be healthier and used skim milk ricotta and it just wasn’t the same. The consistency was too thin compared to other fillings that I’ve made. When melting the chocolate, you may think it will be easier to melt it in the microwave but it actually becomes a hassle. The chocolate will cool and you will keep having to microwave it to keep it at the right consistency. If you use a double boiler, you have the chocolate over a warm pot of water, keeping the chocolate in the liquid stage.
If you don’t own a pastry bag, use a Ziploc bag instead, making a small cut in one corner of the bag. Fill the cannoli with the cream and serve! Make sure to serve them right away so that the shells are still crispy. These cannolis took some effort but nothing beats fresh pastries. I love the addition of the chocolate and the pistachios, adding a new element to the traditional cannoli. Hard work pays off!
Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.