Ricotta Cannoli always reminds me of special occasions or creating a special occasion just to have them. Always perfect with a coffee!
Makes Approx 20
400g plain flour
60g butter, diced
1 tbsp cocoa powder (see note)
3 tbsp caster sugar
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp white wine or Marsala (optional)
Oil, for frying
100g dark chocolate, melted (optional: see *Tip)
½ cup icing sugar
Zest of 2 oranges
Dark chocolate, finely chopped (optional)
400g dark chocolate, melted & drizzled (optional)
250g pistachios, finely chopped
Candied orange peel, sliced
Icing sugar, for dusting
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa and salt. Work butter into the flour with your fingers until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. (You can also use a food processor or stand mixer to create the dough.)
Add the egg, white wine or Marsala (optional) and mix until a smooth dough. Flatten the dough slightly and cover in cling warp and rest approx 20-30 minutes while you make the filling. Flattening the dough means less rolling later!
In a medium bowl, whisk the ricotta and cream until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar and mix well.
Add the orange zest and chopped chocolate (if using) and fold through the ricotta cream. Fill piping bags (use a star or plain nozzle) and refrigerate until ready to use.
Use a deep fryer or a medium pot with a heavy bottom. Heat oil to 180°C.
Cut the dough into 4 portions and roll using a pasta machine on the first setting 6 times, folding over on itself each time until smooth. Keep rolling through the pasta machine, adjusting the setting until you reach the desired pastry thinness (approx. setting 5-6). Lay the sheet of dough on a lightly floured surface and repeat until all the dough is used. (Note: if you don’t own a pasta machine you can use a rolling pin).
Using a 10-12cm round cutter, cut circles from the dough. Wrap each circle around a metal cannoli tube. Dab a little egg wash on the edge to stick together.
Add the cannoli into the fryer, only 2-3 at a time and will bubble immediately. Fry only 2-3min or until golden. Using tongs, remove and place onto tray lined with paper towels.
Use tongs to hold the edge of the tube, gently grip the shell in your other hand with a kitchen towel and carefully slide it to remove. Set aside to cool. Repeat with all cooked.
Dip one or both ends of the cannoli shells into melted dark chocolate. Place onto wire rack to set.
Just before serving, pipe the ricotta into each cannoli. Fill the cannoli shells from both ends so cream fills through the whole shell. Dip one end into the chopped pistachio and add 1-2 slices of candied orange peel. (see *Tip)
Place onto a serving platter and dust with icing sugar. (Optional: drizzle melted dark chocolate.)
Serve immediately, enjoy!
*Tip: Melt dark chocolate and brush inside the cannoli shell, allow the chocolate to set and then fill with the prepared ricotta. This will give the cannoli an extra chocolate taste and also assist in keeping the cannoli shell crisp when filled.
Using cocoa powder is optional for both taste and colour, the end result will be a darker cannoli pastry shell.
Shells can be stored 3-5 days in an air-tight container.
Best to fill cannoli shells just before serving.