Easy Homemade Cannoli

Cannoli, the quintessential Italian dessert. Fresh is best as store-bought varieties tend to turn soggy sitting on the shelf. Here's an easy at-home recipe.
Photo by Aaron Graubart

Adapted from Flavors of Sicily, by Ursula Ferrigno (Ryland Peters & Small, 2016)

Cannoli are ubiquitous in Sicily. But with apologies to the many fantastic pasticcerias, they’re always best made at home, as pre-filled cannoli shells can turn soggy quickly. In Sicily, dough is rolled around metal cannoli forms and deep-fried into shells, but this version adopts a technique from Central Italy, where delicate baked discs are rolled around wooden spoon handles.

Classic At-Home Sicilian Cooking Recipes
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 egg white
  • ¼ cup superfine sugar
  • 2 tablespoons 00 or all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • Filling (see recipe below)
  • Powdered sugar and cocoa powder, for dusting
Directions

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Melt butter and let cool. Set aside. In bowl, whisk egg white until stiff, then fold in sugar. Sift flour and cocoa powder over egg mixture, and fold in. Trickle butter around sides of bowl, and fold in. Put 1 tablespoon of batter mixture onto prepared baking sheet, and spread into 4-inch circle. Repeat with remaining batter, making four circles on each baking sheet.

Bake 7 minutes, or until firm to touch. Slide offset spatula under each circle. Working quickly, wrap circles around greased wooden spoon or whisk handles (or anything else ½–¾ inch in diameter). Let cool. Ease shells off handles. Continue to cool on wire rack.

Affix pastry bag with plain round tip just narrower than shells. Add filling, and squeeze into cannoli shells.

Place cannoli on a serving dish and dust with icing or confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder. Serve immediately. Serves 8.

Filling Ingredients
  • ¼ cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • 1 ounce grated dark chocolate
  • ¼ cup finely chopped pistachio nuts
  • ½ tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Filling Directions

Beat ricotta and sugar until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Pair It

Marco de Bartoli NV  Vecchio Samperi Ventennale. “This is top-shelf Marsala,” says Rice. “This fortified wine is far beyond typical, with notes of intense spice, toffee, candied orange and roasted nuts. This wine pairing is far more savory than most might try, and might change your life.”

Published on March 21, 2017
About the Author
Nils Bernstein
Contributing Editor, Food

A fan of sweet wines, sour beers, and old-school Rioja, Bernstein is an exhaustive traveler in search of new and unsung chefs and restaurants, innovative wine and food pairings, and eating and drinking at the source. In addition to Wine Enthusiast, Bernstein has written for Bon Appetit, Men’s Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Hemispheres, and Kinfolk, among others.

Email: nbernstein@wineenthusiast.net



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