>> Friday, November 27, 2009

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

Cannoli forms/tubes - optional, but recommended if making traditional shaped cannoli.

Dried cannelloni pasta tubes work just as well!
Deep, heavy saucepan, enough to hold at least 2-3-inches of oil or deep fryer
Deep fat frying thermometer. although the bread cube or bit of dough test will work fine.
Metal tongs
Brass or wire skimmer OR large slotted spoon
Pastry bag with large star or plain tip, but a snipped ziplock bag, butter knife or teaspoon will work fine.
Cooling rack
Paper bags or paper towels
Pastry Brush
Sieve or fine wire mesh strainer
Electric Mixer, stand or hand, optional, as mixing the filling with a spoon is fine.
Food Processor or Stand Mixer – also optional, since you can make the dough by hand, although it takes more time.
Rolling pin and/or Pasta roller/machine
Pastry or cutting board
Round cutters - The dough can also be cut into squares and rolled around the cannoli tube prior to frying. If making a stacked cannoli, any shaped cutter is fine, as well as a sharp knife.
Mixing bowl and wooden spoon if mixing filling by hand
Plastic Wrap/Clingfilm
Tea towels or just cloth towels


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon unsweetened baking cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Approximately 1/2 cup 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)

Note - If you want a chocolate cannoli dough, substitute a few tablespoons of the flour (about 25%) with a few tablespoons of dark, unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch process) and a little more wine until you have a workable dough (Thanks to Audax).

2 lbs ricotta cheese, drained
1 2/3 cups cup confectioner’s sugar, (more or less, depending on how sweet you want it), sifted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or the beans from one vanilla bean
3 tablespoons finely chopped good quality chocolate of your choice
2 tablespoons of finely chopped, candied orange peel, or the grated zest of one small to medium orange

Note - If you want chocolate ricotta filling, add a few tablespoons of dark, unsweetened cocoa powder to the above recipe, and thin it out with a few drops of warm water if too thick to pipe.


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.

Pasta Machine method:
1. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Starting at the middle setting, run one of the pieces of dough through the rollers of a pasta machine. Lightly dust the dough with flour as needed to keep it from sticking. Pass the dough through the machine repeatedly, until you reach the highest or second highest setting. The dough should be about 4 inches wide and thin enough to see your hand through

2. Continue rolling out the remaining dough. If you do not have enough cannoli tubes for all of the dough, lay the pieces of dough on sheets of plastic wrap and keep them covered until you are ready to use them.

3, Roll, cut out and fry the cannoli shells as according to the directions above.

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.


Audax November 27, 2009 at 11:14 AM  

I love how you did chocolate cannoli shells and the pictures are so clear. They look so delicious. Well done. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

Lisa Michelle November 27, 2009 at 3:02 PM  

Yummy chocolate shells and the filling looks so delish and creamy! Beautifully done..and thanks for taking part in my challenge :)

Hannah November 27, 2009 at 4:51 PM  

Simply lovely! Those chocolate shells look absolutely amazing, makes me wish I had tried that route as well...

Asha@FSK November 27, 2009 at 6:38 PM  

Lovely cannolis.. the orange zest stands out so beautifully against the chocolate shells...

Anonymous,  November 27, 2009 at 7:48 PM  

these look delicious, I like the idea of the zest, well done for tackling the chocolate shells

Lauren November 27, 2009 at 10:08 PM  

Gorgeous cannoli! Love the chocolate =D.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella November 28, 2009 at 1:19 AM  

Beautiful cannoli! They look so mouthwatering! :D

Rosa's Yummy Yums November 28, 2009 at 6:36 AM  

Lovely cannoli! Very well done!



nikki November 28, 2009 at 9:58 AM  

Fabulous chocolate shells!

Eat4Fun November 28, 2009 at 11:24 AM  

Yum, cannoli! Delicious looking results!

Aparna November 28, 2009 at 11:36 AM  

Great looking cannolis. Congratulations!

natalie November 28, 2009 at 2:31 PM  

yummy I love cannoli and more and more chocolate cannoli :)

Anonymous,  November 28, 2009 at 6:37 PM  

Yum. They look like oreo cannoli!

Cheri November 28, 2009 at 6:39 PM  

Your cannoli are lovely. Great job!

Anonymous,  November 28, 2009 at 7:26 PM  

beautiful cannoli. very nicely done.

Jane November 28, 2009 at 8:52 PM  

What could be better than chocolate and cannoli?? Heaven!

Veena November 28, 2009 at 9:27 PM  

Your cannolis look so chocolatey and yumm! Great job!

Elra December 1, 2009 at 11:53 AM  

You did it well! Your cannoli look beautiful.

Sheltie Girl December 1, 2009 at 7:57 PM  

You did a wonderful job on your cannoli! Yummy yummy chocolate.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Karine December 1, 2009 at 10:25 PM  

You indeed did an amazing job with the cannoli! Thanks for sharing :)

Catalina December 4, 2009 at 1:02 PM  

Oh yum! They look great!

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