29 Nov

Last month I finally got the courage to join The Daring Kitchen. The main reason why I hadn’t joined before was simple…I was scared of the commitment…kind of like a relationship. Well I’m glad I did, my first challenge was a dessert dear and close to my native land, Cannoli.
The irony is that I actually bought the Cannoli forms a few months back and they just sat in my cupboard unopened. So if this challenge had not come along they may have very well sat there much longer.

The challenge for November was brought to us by Lisa Michele from, Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. The recipe was a combination from various 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.
I followed the dough recipe as was written. We had the option of using white wine, Marsala or grape juice….trying to keep the recipe as authentic as possible I went with the Marsala. The dough itself was very simple to make. I made it the day before and let it sit in the fridge overnight. At first I was a bit put off by the amount of Marsala in the dough, but once fried it turned out just fine.

The dough was simple to work with; I used a pasta machine to roll out the dough…it cut down on the elbow grease and the time significantly.
For the filling I went with a Ricotta sweetened with sugar and flavored with vanilla. I also made Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Crème Patisserie, which by the way is out of this world! Again to save some time I made the fillings the day before.
Ok, so far so good. I got up on Saturday morning and started rolling out my dough and heating up the oil ready to fry. I really despise frying and not for the reasons you may think, I despise it because it just stinks up the house…and did it ever. The stench stuck around for days, and I swear when I walk into my house I can still smell it!

Nevertheless, the end result was just unbelievably delicious. My husband devoured the Cannoli and actually said, “I don’t think I could ever eat another bakery Cannoli after having these”…I would say that’s a success because my husband takes his Cannoli very seriously.
Would I ever make these again? Sure I will, but it will have to be warm enough to fry outside..and considering it’s almost December in Toronto I probably wont be making these for at least another 6 months.
So if you love Cannoli, I urge you, I beg you to try to make them at home, you will not regret it.


Adapted from Lisa Michele from, Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives

2 cups (250 grams/8.82 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons(28 grams/1 ounce) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams/0.06 ounces) unsweetened baking cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon (1.15 grams/0.04 ounces) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (approx. 3 grams/0.11 ounces) salt
3 tablespoons (42 grams/1.5 ounces) vegetable or olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 grams/0.18 ounces) white wine vinegar
Approximately 1/2 cup (approx. 59 grams/approx. 4 fluid ounces/approx. 125 ml) sweet Marsala or any white or red wine you have on hand
1 large egg, separated (you will need the egg white but not the yolk)
Vegetable or any neutral oil for frying – about 2 quarts (8 cups/approx. 2 litres)

1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer or food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the oil, vinegar, and enough of the wine to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and well blended, about 2 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge from 2 hours to overnight.

2 Cut the dough into two pieces. Keep the remaining dough covered while you work. Lightly flour a large cutting or pastry board and roll the dough until super thin, about 1/16 to 1/8” thick (An area of about 13 inches by 18 inches should give you that). Cut out 3 to 5-inch circles (3-inch – small/medium; 4-inch – medium/large; 5-inch;- large. Your choice). Roll the cut out circle into an oval, rolling it larger and thinner if it’s shrunk a little.

3 Oil the outside of the cannoli tubes (You only have to do this once, as the oil from the deep fry will keep them well, uhh, Roll a dough oval from the long side (If square, position like a diamond, and place tube/form on the corner closest to you, then roll) around each tube/form and dab a little egg white on the dough where the edges overlap. (Avoid getting egg white on the tube, or the pastry will stick to it.) Press well to seal. Set aside to let the egg white seal dry a little.

4. In a deep heavy saucepan, pour enough oil to reach a depth of 3 inches, or if using an electric deep-fryer, follow the manufacturer’s directions. Heat the oil to 375°F (190 °C) on a deep fry thermometer, or until a small piece of the dough or bread cube placed in the oil sizzles and browns in 1 minute. Have ready a tray or sheet pan lined with paper towels or paper bags.

5. Carefully lower a few of the cannoli tubes into the hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. Fry the shells until golden, about 2 minutes, turning them so that they brown evenly.

8. Lift a cannoli tube with a wire skimmer or large slotted spoon, out of the oil. Using tongs, grasp the cannoli tube at one end. Very carefully remove the cannoli tube with the open sides straight up and down so that the oil flows back into the pan. Place the tube on paper towels or bags to drain. Repeat with the remaining tubes. While they are still hot, grasp the tubes with a potholder and pull the cannoli shells off the tubes with a pair of tongs, or with your hand protected by an oven mitt or towel. Let the shells cool completely on the paper towels. Place shells on cooling rack until ready to fill.

9. Repeat making and frying the shells with the remaining dough. If you are reusing the cannoli tubes, let them cool before wrapping them in the dough.


17 Responses to “Cannoli”

  1. Namratha November 29, 2009 at 4:59 PM #

    You did well for your first challenge, the fillings sound delicious and your shells are nicely blistered.

    • Anna November 29, 2009 at 7:00 PM #

      Thanks Namratha, I have to admit I was a little nervous with my first challenge but happy with the results.
      And the chocolate filling, I could have eaten just that!

  2. savorysimple November 29, 2009 at 6:03 PM #

    These look absolutely amazing and I wish I had some right now! Great photos.

    • Anna November 29, 2009 at 7:00 PM #

      Thanks for coming by 🙂

  3. Ivonne November 29, 2009 at 10:45 PM #

    Nothing at all to be frightened of! You’re very talented and we’re so glad you joined. Your cannoli are gorgeous and I love the plate you used to serve them!

    • Anna November 30, 2009 at 7:32 AM #

      Thanks Ivonne!

  4. Jenny Tan November 30, 2009 at 3:08 AM #

    Those are some good looking cannoli!!! Well done for your 1st challenge! I’m glad you’re in DB…isn’t it exciting? 🙂

    • Anna November 30, 2009 at 7:33 AM #

      Thanks Jenny, I’m loving this DB adventure!

  5. lisamichele November 30, 2009 at 4:48 AM #

    Yay, they’re up! I have to say, those are some of the prettiest cannoli in the challenge! Great blisters on the shells and the creme patisserie looks divine! I hear you about the ‘fry’ stench that permeates the kitchen afterwards, I usually simmer a pot of potpourri with lemon and orange peel, and that gets rid of it pretty quick 🙂

    • Anna November 30, 2009 at 7:32 AM #

      I finally got them up. I was going to get them up on Saturday but while I was sleeping on Friday night I heard this big “snap” sound, I got up to investigate and there was this faint scent of something burning from my office, sure enough my PC’s cpu burned to a I dusted off my old laptop to get the post up. Thank goodness I had already uploaded my pics to PhotoBucket.
      Thanks for the potpourri tip, maybe I will try that next time!

  6. andaoana November 30, 2009 at 10:54 AM #

    Congrats on the first challenge. You did a great job!

  7. sara November 30, 2009 at 2:53 PM #

    Welcome to daring bakers! These look super delicious…congrats on a successful first challenge!

  8. Natasha - 5 Star Foodie December 2, 2009 at 12:11 AM #

    The cannoli sound wonderful! Great job!

  9. crumbsoflove December 2, 2009 at 10:14 AM #

    Great blisters- really beautiful. Welcome to the Daring kitchen, super job on your first month.

  10. berrylovely December 5, 2009 at 2:29 AM #

    Welcome to the Daring Bakers! Your cannoli look great, very nice blisters.

  11. angel March 29, 2010 at 7:45 PM #

    I was totally surprised to see the dish you used to place your canoli. I inherited the same ones from my mother-in-law!

    P.S. Your canoli’s look great!

    • Anna April 16, 2010 at 8:23 AM #

      This is the only plate I have that belonged to my husband’s grandmother. I wish I had more as they are hard to come by!

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