So I've had this recipe from Bakers Royale bookmarked for, oh, several years. It's the reason why I bought cannoli forms that were still unopened in my drawer. I wanted to make them, but I needed to be able to get past the deep frying part. (I lit myself on fire years ago with a grease fire, so I took a break for many years from deep frying.) Then I needed to remember I wanted to make them and prioritize them, which I finally did to take to work this year as my birthday treat.
These are a little putzy, but they still come together in about 2 hours, including frying time. And now that I have oil already dirty from frying cannoli, well, I guess I don't have any excuse not to tackle one of those doughnut recipes I've had bookmarked for years either.
I'm glad I made these because they were good. Now, I've never had cannoli outside of these to have any comparison for you. The outside reminds me of an Oreo. The inside is chocolate with a hint of orange. I love the outside more than the inside, so I have a few leftover cannoli shells that will be filled with cookie butter whipped cream. Yum.
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. orange zest
1/4 cup finely chopped dark chocolate
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup shortening
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp. honey
1 egg white
Oil for deep frying
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Pistachio nuts, finely chopped
For the filling, combine all ingredients until smooth in a small bowl, mixing by hand. Cover, and chill until needed.
Prepare cannoli shells by heating oil to 350°F (in a deep fryer). Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a separate small bowl, stir together eggs, milk and honey. Add egg mixture to flour. Stir just until mixture forms a ball, although I had to finish mixing mine with my hands on the counter. Divide dough in half.
On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough portion into a 16-inch square. Cut each square into 16 4-inch squares. (Mine ended up slightly larger and not all even.)
Beat remaining egg white to use as a glue to hold the cannoli together around the mold.
Wrap one square lightly around one end of greased metal cannoli cylinder. Use the egg wash to moisten overlapping dough, and press gently to seal.
Fry cannoli shells, a few at a time, about 1 minute. Use tongs to carefully and gently lift shells from the oil, drain any oil from cylinders back into the deep fryer, and drain shells on paper towels. Cool, and repeat with remaining squares.
To assemble cannoli, melt the chocolate for garnish, and dip each cannoli shell into chocolate to coat both ends. Then dip in nuts. Set on a lined cookie sheet to allow the chocolate to harden.
Use a pastry bag to fill the cannoli shells, filling from both sides to ensure filling is throughout the cannoli. There's enough filling to make about 16 cannoli with a few extra shells left over.