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Megans Cookin: Daring Bakers Make Cannoli

Friday, November 27, 2009

Daring Bakers Make Cannoli

 DB and mint cc cookie 010 The November 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. She chose the Italian Pastry, Cannolo (Cannoli is plural), using the 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.

For this month’s Daring Baker’s Challenge, we were dared to put away our baking pans and to get out the deep fry thermometer and oil! We are deep frying this month!

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We’re making Cannoli!

Cannoli are known as Italian-American pastries, although the origin of cannoli dates back to Sicily, specifically Palermo, where it was prepared during Carnevale season.

Traditionally, cannoli are deep fried on a tube form to make a crisp hollow shell which you fill with a cream. But not mine!

The day before I made this challenge, I went to our local kitchen shop knowing it would be the only place in town to buy the molds. I walk into a very crowded store and set out to look for the molds. After scoping out the store and searching high and low, only to find an empty peg where I believe the molds to be, I finally find a busy sales person. She escorts me back through the maze of people who are mingling, laughing and sharing, back to the empty peg.

“Oh”, she says. “We must be out. I have more on order. This class has wiped me out!”

“This class?” I ask.

“Yes, were doing a class on Italian treats. Cannoli and pizzelles.”

Go figure.

No forms and they were having a canoli class. I couldn’t believe it. But I figured I saved $50.00 not knowing about that class. If I had known that cannoli would be our November challenge, I might have signed up.  Maybe,… I don’t know. $50 bucks is pretty steep.

Now that I made this challenge, I’m thankful for 2 things.

  1. I didn’t spend $50.00 to take the class
  2. I didn’t invest in the cannoli tubes.

  07 12 08-1  It was a fun learning experience but I don't think I’ll be making these to often. Maybe if I ever host an Italian feast, but I’m not really into deep frying. The family didn’t particularly care for the shells either . I filled them with a Cinnamon Mascarpone Cream and chopped pistachios. Drizzled with a little chocolate I thought they were just OK. But really pretty!

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(Printable Recipe)

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)
1/2 cup (approx. 62 grams/2 ounces) toasted, chopped pistachio nuts, mini chocolate chips/grated chocolate and/or candied or plain zests, fruits etc.. for garnish
Confectioners' sugar

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.

For stacked cannoli:
1. Heat 2-inches of oil in a saucepan or deep sauté pan, to 350-375°F (176 - 190 °C).

2. Cut out desired shapes with cutters or a sharp knife. Deep fry until golden brown and blistered on each side, about 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from oil with wire skimmer or large slotted spoon, then place on paper towels or bags until dry and grease free. If they balloon up in the hot oil, dock them lightly prior to frying. Place on cooling rack until ready to stack with filling.

1. When ready to serve..fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain or star tip, or a ziplock bag, with the ricotta cream. If using a ziplock bag, cut about 1/2 inch off one corner. Insert the tip in the cannoli shell and squeeze gently until the shell is half filled. Turn the shell and fill the other side. You can also use a teaspoon to do this, although it’s messier and will take longer.

2. Press or dip cannoli in chopped pistachios, grated chocolate/mini chocolate chips, candied fruit or zest into the cream at each end. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and/or drizzles of melted chocolate if desired.

Cinnamon Cream

1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (125 ml) mascarpone*
1-2 Tbs (15-30 ml) sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Whisk the ingredients together to form a thick, smooth cream. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about 1 1/2 cups (375 ml).

* Mascarpone is an unfermented cheese from Italy, similar to cream cheese, that is available in the deli section of most supermarkets.

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Blogger Barbara Bakes said...

I'm so jealous of how puffy your cannoli are my baking buddy! They really do look pretty on the plate!

November 27, 2009 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Gorgeous cannoli! I love the shapes - so fun!

November 27, 2009 at 8:36 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Lovely Cannoli's baked.... It must feel wonderful to savor them.... & Well presented too...


November 27, 2009 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Audax said...

They are so puffed up and they look so cute well done even if they won't to your tastes. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

November 28, 2009 at 5:49 AM  
Anonymous noble pig said...

That's funny and a coincidence about the class...these look fun!

November 28, 2009 at 7:11 AM  
Blogger Katrina said...

Love the way you did these! And mmmm!

November 28, 2009 at 8:06 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

So pretty! I love that you did the pumpkin shape! :)

November 28, 2009 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger Heather B said...

Great job this month! I love your shapes!

November 28, 2009 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Mary Bergfeld said...

You did a great job with this challenge! Kudos.

November 28, 2009 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Judy@nofearentertaining said...

So funny about the cannoli class! Yours look beautiful all puffy like that!

November 28, 2009 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Delicious Dishings said...

I love your pumpkin-shaped shells! That's such a creative way to get around using the forms. I had to order them from Amazon.

November 28, 2009 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger Reeni said...

You reinvented the cannoli! These look pretty and I love pistachios in my cannoli!

November 28, 2009 at 6:29 PM  
Blogger Patsyk said...

They really look beautiful!

November 28, 2009 at 6:44 PM  
Blogger Donna-FFW said...

They look wonderful, a heck of a lot of work, so pretty.

November 28, 2009 at 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Your cannoli look beautiful.. I like the deconstructed look instead of the tubes. I have made them twice using cannoli forms, but I think I might try them this way next time - they are beautiful for layered desserts!

November 28, 2009 at 7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The cannoli looks gorgeous - sounds like you had a fun experience making them!

November 28, 2009 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger Ingrid_3Bs said...

You did a lovely job plating them. I'm sorry they didn't turn out as yummy as you hoped!

November 28, 2009 at 9:07 PM  
Blogger Katy ~ said...

I like your interpretation of this recipe. You're right: $50 IS steep!

November 29, 2009 at 5:51 AM  
Blogger teresa said...

this is so impressive! how pretty and fun, they look delicious!

November 29, 2009 at 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Nutmeg Nanny said...

They look fantastic! I love the addition of cinnamon in your filling....yum!

November 30, 2009 at 8:09 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Even though you were a little underwhelmed by the taste, your stacked cannoli turned out gorgeous - great presentation too! Thanks for deep frying with me this month!

December 1, 2009 at 12:03 AM  

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