Monday, 1 October 2012

Cannoli Gannoli!

It's been a few years since I had a good Cannoli.  I used to make them back home where I could buy the ready made shells for them in the supermarket and just fill them.  I had actually bought the formers for making the shells and never even opened them.  I always thought that making Cannoli shells would be difficult and just never gave it a go.

My Cannoli formers made their way across the Atlantic with the rest of my household goods and lived in my loft until last Friday when my Husband invited some friends around for Dinner. I'm the only person I know that plans what to have for Dinner around Dessert.  But that is exactly what I did.  I recently saw an episode of Carfellas on the Discovery Channel where they were arguing over how to pronounce Cannoli (Cannoli or Gannoli).  It got me thinking about my Cannoli formers again and I decided I wanted to use them.  Italian night it is!

On the menu,
Rosemary and Thyme Grilled Chicken served with Salad and Butternut Squash Risotto
and for Dessert, Cannolis!

It was a bit of work to make them, but not overly difficult and I was definetly glad that I did.  I know I will be using them again.

If you would like to have a go you will need

For the shells
A set of Cannoli Forms
415g (1 3/4 cups) unsifted plain flour
1/2 teaspon salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons firm butter, cut into small pieces
about 60ml (1/4C) White Wine
Oil for deep frying

Sift flour with salt and granulated sugar.  Make a well in the centre.  In it place egg and butter.  Stir with a fork , working from centre out to moisten flour mixture.  Add wine, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough begins to cling together (note the recipe says 60ml of white wine but I ended up needing more than this as the mixture still looked dry.  I just kept adding it a tablespoon at a time until the dough came together).  Use your hands to form dough into a ball.  Cover and let stand for 15 minutes.

Roll dough out on a floured board to about 1/16 inch thick.  You want them pretty thin as they will puff up when you fry them.  Cut into 3 1/2inch circles.  With rolling pin, roll the circles into ovals.  Wrap around the Cannoli Forms and seal the edge with egg white, pressing together. Turn out the ends of the dough to flair slightly.

Fry in oil heated to approx 350F (175C) for about 1 minute.  Watch carefully as sometimes it does not take a full minute to cook.  You want them to be lightly golden.  Remove with tongs and place on a paper towel to drain.  The Cannoli form shoud be cool enough to handle after about a minute so you can carefully slip the shell off the form and reuse the form . Cool the shells completely before filing.  You can make them a day in advance to save time if needed.

For the filling

950g ricotta cheese
350g icing sugar
125g chocolate chips
4 teaspoons vanilla

Mix Ricotta Cheese until very smooth.  Fold in icing sugar and vanilla.  Mix in chocolate chips.  Chill for several hours or overnight.

Use a Piping bag to pipe the mixture into the prepared shells.

Makes approx 25 Cannolis

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