Cannoli

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PRESENTATION

Cannoli

The essence of Sicily wrapped in a single pastry... unmistakable scents and textures bite after bite. Sicilian cannoli are the pride of this beautiful island, together with cassata, irises, almond pastries.... these are among the most popular desserts in the world. Served as a dessert in restaurants to be enjoyed in their original format or the mignon version, Sicilian cannoli are enchanting with their typical bubbled surface and the shimmering ricotta cream in the windows of pastry shops. They attract attention all along the streets of Sicilian towns or during events, sold as sweet street food to be filled at the last moment. Like all regional recipes, there are secrets and versions of Sicilian cannoli that change from city to city or family to family: some people choose to add cocoa and Marsala wine to the dough, just as we did. Others use a shell flavoring of coffee or cinnamon! The ricotta cream, on the other hand, is almost always enriched with chocolate bits and the finished cannoli are often garnished with pistachios, chocolate chips or candied fruit... in short, you will be spoiled with your choices in how to enjoy them! But the basic rule is this: cannoli must be filled at the last minute to enjoy all their crunchiness!

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients for about 30 cannoli
Flour 00 1 ¾ cup (260 g)
Sugar 1 ¾ tbsp (20 g)
Lard 2 ½ tbsp (30 g) - cold from the fridge
Unsweetened cocoa powder ¾ tbsp (5 g)
Fine salt 1 tsp
Eggs 1 ½ tbsp (20 g)
White wine vinegar 2 tsp (10 g)
Marsala wine ¼ cup (60 g)
for the filling
Ricotta cheese from sheep's milk 2 ¼ lbs (1 kg) - (drained for at least 1 night in the fridge)
Sugar ⅔ cup (130 g)
Dark chocolate chips ½ cup (80 g)
for brushing
Eggs to taste
for frying
Vegetable oil 1 quart (1 l)
for garnishing
Candied cherries to taste
Powdered sugar to taste
Ground pistacchio to taste
Candied orange to taste
Preparation

How to prepare Cannoli

To prepare Sicilian cannoli start with the shell: in a bowl pour the flour 1, the sifted cocoa 2, the sugar 3,

the salt 4, the cold lard from the fridge 5; crack open the egg and beat it lightly, then put 4 t (20 g) of it in the bowl with the other ingredients 6 and keep the rest aside, which will be used to brush the cannoli later.

Then pour in the Marsala wine 7 and vinegar 8.Start kneading with your hands 9,

Then transfer to the work top and knead for about ten minutes 10 until you get a smooth dough 11.It will take a little patience and energy because the mixture is quite dry. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for about 1 hour 12, then take it out of the fridge and leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes. 

After the time has passed, take the dough and divide it in half 13. Take one of the two halves, leaving the other one well covered, and lightly flour both sides. Flatten well with your hands 14 and then insert the piece of dough between the rollers of the pasta making machine 15. At first it might tear up, don't worry, just put it back together and repeat. 

As soon as it is compact, fold the two ends (16-17) inwards and pass again between the rollers starting from the widest thickness 18. Repeat for 3-4 times, if it also helps to turn the piece in the opposite direction.

As soon as it is smoother close the ends of the sheet again, this time making not two folds but one 19 and pass it between the rollers 3-4 more times. Now fold the sheet again, this time on the short side 20 and pass it again between the rollers 21. Gradually lower the number as you work, thus the thickness. If you notice that the pastry is getting too long, split it before going on. Keep rolling out until you reach the number 8 on the machine or what corresponds on your machine to a thickness of 0.5 mm. All these steps will help make the dough more dilated, so that bubbles form during cooking.

Once you have obtained the sheet of pastry of the indicated thickness, you can divide it in half for convenience 22. Trim the edges and add them to the other half of the brick you still have left. With a smooth blade pastry cutter, cut out into 4 x 4" (10x10 cm) squares 23, then take each square of dough in your hand, slide your thumbs from the center outwards to slightly and gently widen it; in the middle place a steel cylinder so that it goes from one corner to the other 24

Wrap a flap of dough on the cylinder, brush with the remaining egg 25 before joining it to the other flap 26. Form the first of the cannoli and continue, using all the dough 27. It is important that the cannoli remain in the air a bit before cooking.

Heat the oil until it reaches a temperature of 350° F (180° C) (to be measured with a kitchen thermometer).Start frying the cannoli one at a time, placing them on a skimmer 28 and keeping them immersed for a few moments 29. That way they won't touch the bottom of the pot and they won't burn. It'll take less than a minute, then turn them around. Drain the cannoli, using tongs 30

and transfer them to a tray lined with kitchen paper 31. Then let them cool down before pulling out the cylinder 32; to do so, simply squeeze it slightly, the two metal sheets should retract. Then slightly move in the opposite direction of the cone closing direction and gently slide out. At this point the cannoli shells are ready, set them aside until they have cooled completely 33 and in the meantime prepare the filling. 

Sieve the ricotta into a bowl 34, pour in the sugar 35 and work the mixture with a spatula 36

Then add the chocolate chips 37 and stir again 38. Transfer in a sac-à poche 39

and use it to fill the cannoli 40. If you like, garnish with pistachio nuts, candied orange peel or cherries and sprinkle with powdered sugar 41 before serving your cannoli 42

Storage

We recommend cannoli put together at the last moment. The cream can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days. The cannoli shells can be stored at room temperature for 4-5 days, covered with a cloth.

Tips

To avoid waste, we made cannoli with squares of dough. If you prefer, you can use a round, still 4" (10 cm), pastry ring to obtain the classic shape.

As an alternative to chocolate chips you can use chopped candied fruit. If you are looking for an even more delicious version you can brush the inside of the cannoli shells with melted chocolate. Just let it solidify before you fill them.