Making Cannoli Shells:
Sift flour, sugar, and cinnamon together on a work surface. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, mix in the egg, the Marsala wine, and the vanilla extract, mix well.
Knead dough until smooth and stiff, about 15 minutes. If dough feels wet and sticky, add more flour, if too dry, add a little more wine. Cover dough and let stand for 2 hours in a cool place, or refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough very thin, about 1/8 of an inch thick, and cut into 5 inch circles and wrap the dough circles around metal cannoli forms. Fold the dough around each cannoli form loosely, so that 1/4 of the form sticks out on both ends. Seal dough edges together by brushing with beaten egg white, and fry two cannoli at a time in 4 inches of vegetable oil in a deep fry pan, or an electric frying pan. Fry until shells are medium golden brown on both sides. Carefully lift the shells out of the pan with slotted spoon or tongs. Drain shells on paper towels to cool. Fill with cannoli cream when shells have cooled completely, or store shells in an airtight container.
Makes approximately 12 cannoli shells.
Making Cannoli Filling:
In a large bowl, beat ricotta and mascarpone cheeses with an electric mixer until combined. Add sugar and vanilla extract, beat until light and creamy, about five minuites.
By hand, stir in the cinnamon, candied peel (or grated zest), and the chocolate chips (or chocolate shavings, if using).
Place mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a very large star tip, and refrigerate until ready to fill cannoli.
Fills 12 cannoli shells
1) 4 Metal Cannoli Forms* (see note below)
2) A very deep, large frying pan or an electric frying pan.
You can puchase the metal cannoli forms at specialty cooking stores, at Cooking.com, or at other cooking stores on the internet.
Cannoli Making Tips:
The dough must be very stiff and well kneaded, and must be rolled to paper thinness. If not, it will not blister (form little bubbles). The fat should be at least 4 inches deep, and at 390 degrees F.
To remove the cannoli shells from the form, gently hold the cannoli in the center, and push it off the form with a butter knife or the back of a spoon.
Fill shells using pastry bag or a butter knife, filling from both ends first, then dip ends into melted milk chocolate, and then dip into chopped pistaschios. Dust with confectioners sugar (optional).
You may double this recipe, both for the shells and the cannoli filling.
Pre-made cannoli shells can be purchased at Italian specialty food stores or markets, or can be purchased on the Internet at Ferraracafe.com.
Photograph taken by Diana Baker Woodall© 2002
Date: April 29, 2002