This is the recipe for Sicilian Cannoli (Cannoli Siciliani), an irresistible dessert whose history comes from afar.
The Sicilian Cannoli are a traditional dessert dating back to the Arab domination, but already known in Roman times. Once it was typical of the Carnival period but now is used all year long and for any special occasion. The origin is in a monastery in Caltanissetta, soon it spread throughout the region and with the emigration of the Sicilians is now appreciated all over the world.
These are fried shells in the shape of a tube called “Cannolo”. Then stuffed with sheep’s milk ricotta cream and chocolate chips. And in the end decorated with icing sugar and the edges garnished with chopped pistachios or candied fruit.
Like all Italian regional recipes, even for Sicilian Cannoli there are secrets and versions that change from city to city or from family to family. Someone choose to add cocoa and Marsala to the dough, while others use aromatize the base even with coffee or cinnamon.
But the fundamental rule is one: the Cannoli must be filled to the last to enjoy all their crunchiness!
In a bowl, sift the flour together with the cinnamon. Add the lard crumbling with your fingertips, add the sugar and grated orange peel and mix.
Add the whole egg and continuing to knead pour the salt previously dissolved in the vinegar and then the Marsala flush.
You will get a consistent and elastic dough, finish it quickly on the work surface and store it in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but at most 12 hours, before using it.
Roll out one third of the dough at a time, using a dough sheeter or a rolling pin, until it reaches a thickness of 1.5 mm. With a 10 cm diameter pastry cutter, cut the discs and stretch them slightly to make an oval.
Wrap the dough around the aluminum stem, weld the outer edges with the yolk. Cover the discs of dough you have already cut with food grade film, preventing them from drying on the surface, because this would compromise the development of bubbles during cooking. Dip the cannoli wrapped on the torch in oil at 175 ° C, welding downwards.
On the surface of the cannoli will form very friable bubbles, manipulate them delicately using a slotted spoon. In a few seconds they will be golden and ready to drain on fried paper.
Wait for them to reach room temperature before removing the metal torch.
For the cream: sift the ricotta well drained from the whey, work it for a minute with the electric whisk, incorporating the icing sugar. Add the chocolate drops and stir briefly with a spatula.
Cannoli shells should be filled with ricotta cream only when served, using a sac à poche with a smooth 16 mm nozzle or a spatula.
Sprinkle the surface with icing sugar and decorate the ends according to your preferences: candied cherry and orange, dark chocolate drops, chopped pistachio, cinnamon or a mix.
The dough of cannoli can be flavored with cocoa powder or coffee, used as spices also to get a darker color of the shells, in quantities not exceeding 5 g.
Marsala can be replaced by red wine, rather sweet.
The icing sugar of the ricotta cream can be replaced by granulated sugar, in this case ricotta and sugar should be mixed at least 6 hours in advance and placed in the fridge before whipping them with a whisk. The cream in fact must be smooth and the sugar completely melted.
Despite the frying of the shells, it is a dessert that is not too caloric and digestible because it is moderately sweet and has no added fat in the cream.
We recommend filling the cannoli at the moment. The cream can be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Cannoli shells can be stored at room temperature for 4-5 days, covered with a cloth.
If you are looking for an even more delicious version, you can brush the inside of the cannoli with the melted chocolate. Just let it solidify before stuffing them