We are hooked on this dessert. It is a cheese cake in a cone. It will become a staple in our recipe file. Some people have taken the easy way out and used ice cream as a filling. No problem there, but I will probably be a bit more traditional. Enjoy!
Originating in the Palermo area, cannoli were historically prepared as a treat during Carnevale and Christmas seasons, possibly as a fertility symbol; one legend assigns their origin to the harem of Caltanissetta .
The dessert eventually became a year-round staple throughout what is now Italy. Cannoli are sometimes called cannolis, however this is not the correct term. "Cannoli" is the proper plural, and "cannolo" the singular.
Note: since so many people are allergic to nuts the day, I usually do not add them unless it is just me. Also nuts are not completely traditional, but good to eat none the less.
Step 1: Ingredients.
Canoli tube forms.
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup wine (Marsala is recommended, but use what you like. (Grape juice will substitute.or Home made wine: .https://www.instructables.com/id/Quicky-guide-to-making-wine/)
4 cups store bought ricotta cheese or use the instructable. (https://www.instructables.com/id/Yet-another-cheese-making-episode/ )
1 1/2 cups milk adjust as needed
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, ground. (We will used powdered unsweetened chocolate with a bit of sugar).
1 1/2 cups sugar (superfine sugar is best - use a little less, if desired) pistachio nuts, ground (I will substitute peanuts.)
Step 2: Making the Tubes.
Mix flour, cocoa, sugar, salt and baking powder. Work in the shortening and add wine a little at a time; knead well. Take a piece of dough the size of a nickel and roll it very thin, and put this loosely around a cannoli tube, and pinch ends together.
Deep Fry (370 degrees Fahrenheit or so) in shortening or Crisco and when nicely browned, remove carefully and place on brown paper to cool. Carefully remove tubes from cannoli by pushing gently through so as not to break the pastry.
Alternatively you could put them in an oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for 7 - 10 minutes.
Note: Cannoli can be kept indefinitely in a cool place and filled as needed. Cannoli tubes are available from kitchen supply stores or online. If they are not available, a large wooden dowel may be used (historically, they were wrapped around broomsticks!). They can catch fire in a hot oven. (Soaking them in water could abate that.)
You can also use my instructable to make your own. https://www.instructables.com/id/Home-made-cannoli-forms/
Step 3: The Filling.
Bring milk to boil over low heat (a double boiler may be used, or use a metal bowl over a saucepan). WATCH CAREFULLY!!
Turn down the heat. Mix cornstarch and sugar until combined, then stir in the cheese, chocolate, and vanilla. Allow to cook until cornstarch has has activated and then some, then set aside to cool (in the fridge). This will make a custard.
Grind the nuts if you need to.
Put mixture is a hand blender safe bowl. Beat the custard until fluffy.
Do not forget to remove the forms efre filling the shells.
With a pastry bag, fill the pastry shells on both ends, then dip ends in ground pistachio nuts (in our case peanuts) and dust with powdered sugar. Refrigerate.
Note: You can use a plactic bag to make pastry bag for filling the cannoli.
Step 4: Almost Time for Dessert.
Cannoli are best served after a good meal. Thid will reduce the need (aka addiction) to have too many of them.
Pull the cooled cannoli form the fridge and enjoy!!
Note: Meal is baked chicken, garden saled with cucumber, cheese, and covered with homemade italian dressing. green peas, Creamy homemade polenta covered with fried mushrooms and bell peppers.