For a traditional Sicilian treat, all you need is an authentic cannoli recipe, a cup of espresso, and someone to share with.
Have Some Fun, Take a Cannoli
Cannoli are as much fun to make as they are to eat. The crisp shell that embraces the sweet creamy cheese filling is as flavorful as it is decorative and the filling itself can inspire euphoria in the most dedicated dessert lover. These decadent tubes can be filled with vanilla or chocolate filling and garnished with everything from powdered sugar to chocolate sauce and crushed nuts.
Cannoli is Italian for "little tube" and that's just what this dessert is: a little pastry tube filled with cheese. The tubes can be as large as a Manicotti or as small as your little finger. Cannoli are usually served during the holidays but, because cannoli filling doesn't involve cooking, cannoli can be served at any time of year.
Don't Get Shell Shocked
For people who like to do everything from scratch, cannoli shells are fun to make, but if you don't want to deal with the hot oil or don't happen to have cannoli shell molds handy, pre-made shells are available.
It might seem that it is not an authentic cannoli recipe if pre-made cannoli shells are used, but since the real appeal of cannoli is the filling it would seem that no matter how you get your shells, as long as they are made properly, the recipe will turn out fine.
To make your own cannoli shells, use this recipe.
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon of instant espresso
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- Pinch of salt
- Dry white wine
- 1 egg white, slightly beaten
- Vegetable oil to fry
- Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, instant espresso, sugar, melted butter, and salt.
- Add enough wine to make a smooth, stretchable dough.
- Knead into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Heat enough vegetable oil in a deep pan to be able to submerge the shells.
- Heat the oil over a medium heat.
- Roll out the dough on a well-floured board to about 1/8 of an inch thick.
- Using a round cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds as you can.
- Roll a cannoli around a metal shell mold.
- Use a bit of egg white to seal the pastry around the shell mold.
- Drop a bit of the dough into the oil, if it bubbles quickly the oil is hot enough to fry your shells.
- Fry the shells on the molds until they are light brown and crisp.
- Let the shells cool before sliding them off the molds.
- Do this until all of your dough is used.
I'm Filling Good
Once you have your cannoli shells, you need to fill them with something. They can be filled with vanilla cream or chocolate cream. If you like, you can make some of each cream and fill one side of the shell with chocolate and the other side with vanilla. All of these options can be considered an authentic cannoli recipe and even using mascarpone cheese instead of ricotta cheese can be considered authentic.
Be sure to drain your ricotta cheese well before making your filling.
- 2 pounds of drained ricotta cheese
- 1 ½ cup of confectioner's sugar
- ½ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Mix all the ingredients together in a stand mixer.
- Mix until smooth.
- Fill a piping bag with the filling.
- Pipe each shell full with the filling.
- For extra flavor, dip each end of the cannoli into crushed pistachio nuts.
- Dust with powdered sugar.
Authentic Cannoli Recipe
Italians love their sweets, whether they eat them at dessert or as a quick pick-me-up during the day. I think that you'll agree that these cannoli are a treat at anytime of the day. Once you have tried the authentic cannoli recipe, feel free to experiment with the filling, adding whatever spice you think would taste good, or you can add chocolate chips, or candied ginger, or whatever you like. .