Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Making Cannoli

One of the signature desserts of Boston, Northend, is none other than Cannoli. There is a couple of famous cannoli stores which both tourists and locals adore. The tube-shaped pastry originated from Sicily and evolved as it traveled to America. The pastry is fried and filled with cream so it is best eaten fresh. You can make different flavors for its filling. I particularly enjoy almonds!

Cannoli is actually pretty easy to make. It will take some time but I am sure many of you can make your own cannoli and surprise your family and friends during tea time. 

Before you jump into this, please purchase some cannoli tubes. I bought mine from Amazon. 

Recipe (20 shells)

A) Shells
  • 3 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp Shortening, cut into pea-sized
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Marsala wine
  • 1 tbsp Distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 1 Egg white 
  • Cooking oil, for deep frying
  1. In a mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients well.
  2. Add in shortening. Mix well.
  3. Make a well in the middle of the bowl. Add in egg, egg yolk, Marsala wine, white vinegar and water. Mix well with a spatula. 
  4. When the dough starts to forms, use hands to knead for about 10 minutes. Add some water if dough is too dry.
  5. Return the dough into the bowl. Wrap dough with cling wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. 
  6. Divide the rested dough into 4. Roll each dough with a rolling stick or a pasta maker. Make it as thin as possible. Paper thin if you can. 
  7. Using a bowl or a cutter, cut rounds out from the rolled dough. Wrap a cut-out around cannoli tube and seal with egg white. Make sure it seals well.
  8. Heat oil in a deep fryer or big saucepan over medium-high heat.  
  9. Fry the cannoli until they turn golden brown. You may need to use tongs to turn the tubes to get an even colour.  
  10. Place the cooked cannoli on paper towels. Remove the cooled cannoli tubes. 
  11. Store cannoli in air tight containers and use when necessary. 

B) Filling

  • 16 ounces Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Almond Essence  
  • Toasted Almond nuts, chopped
  • Confectioner's sugar, for dusting
  1. Mix the ingredients well with a whisk. 
  2. Using a piping bag, pipe the filling into the shells.
  3. Sprinkle the ends with almonds. 
  4. Dust confectioner's sugar over the cannoli. 
  5. Enjoy!