Daring Bakers November Challenge- Cannoli

Should I? Shouldn’t I? I pondered and pondered…..

Where on earth where in Goa would i find cannoli tubes.

Then one day when i googled cannoli for more information, it suddenly hit me…they look freakishly similar to an Indian(North Kerala to be more exact) savory snack called Kuzhalappam.Although it is a savory snack ,the shape was pretty much similar. And what we used back home was the cassava or the stem of a banana leaf .

Well that clinched it for me.

I WAS IN!!

This months 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.


The challenge was fun and after a few failed trials (a few opened up and a few didn’t get crisp) i realized that the trick was
to roll out the batter as thin as possible
to keep the temperature of the oil even and keep adjusting the heat to make sure that it doesn’t burn or brown immediately
to ensure that the ends are sealed tightly.
I used a tried and tested Ricotta Pistachio and Ricotta Chocolate filling. I would have loved to experiment with the filling but i had guests visiting and i ran out of time. Still they were delightful and we thoroughly enjoyed them.Thanks Lisa!!

Pistachio Ricotta Filling
About 1 1/2 cup ricotta( i used homemede that i made using this recipe)
4 tbsp icing (confectioners) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
finely grated zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup toasted chopped pistachio nuts
1/4 dark chocolate chips, chopped or grated
1/3 cup dried sour cherries, pitted and chopped
1 tablespoons
amaretto liqueur (that i happened to have)

Whisk ricotta well along with the sugar. Add vanilla, lemon zest and cinnamon and beat until smooth and well combined. Fold in remaining ingredients.

Place mixture into a piping bag or ziplock with a corner cut off . pipe this mixture into the cannoli shells .

Cannoli Shell
Speculaas Cannoli Recipe
Makes 22-24 4-inch cannoli

Ingredients

Cannoli Shells:
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) speculaas spice
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
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) grated chocolate for garnish
Confectioners’ sugar

Directions For Shells

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer or food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, speculaas spice, 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.

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.

Oil the outside of the cannoli tubes (or whatever you are usuing instead.). 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Directions For Filling:

1. In a bowl with electric mixer, beat ricotta and mascarpone until smooth and creamy. Beat in confectioner’s sugar, speculaas spice, vanilla and blend until smooth. Transfer to another bowl. Chill until firm.(The filling can be made up to 24 hours prior to filling the shells. Just cover and keep refrigerated).

Assemble The Cannoli:

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 filling. 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. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.

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