Another month and another Daring Bakers Challenge!
The November 2017 Daring Bakers Challenge was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. She chose the Italian Pastry, Cannolo (Cannoli is plural), using the cookbooks Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book.
I have such fun with this group of talented bakers. While I have only been a member for a few months it’s as though they read my mind. Last month I had been thinking that I really wanted to make some Macaroons for the holidays and sure enough that’s what we were asked to bake!
This was quite a pleasant coincidence I thought. Then it happened again with this month’s challenge. I had been watching an episode of “Cake Boss” which if you have caught by the way is an awesome show. They did a cannoli throwback a few episodes ago and totally got me wanting to make those delicious looking treats. Well sure enough I went to The Daring Kitchen website to see what this month’s challenge was going to be and wouldn’t you believe it was cannoli!
I really found making cannoli to be quite entertaining and definitely delicious. I especially enjoyed eating my mistakes! While most people like to fill their cannoli with something savory, I had different plans. I wanted to use a chocolate raspberry mousse and I cannot even begin to describe what a great choice that was. As I was pulling out some of my ingredients I also noticed that I still had some of my pumpkin spice mousse from a party I had thrown a couple of days ago and decided to fill a couple with that as well. This was also a winning combo!
The great thing about cannoli is that you are only limited by your imagination when it comes to flavor combinations. The cannoli is simply a shell waiting for your creativity! So if things continue the way that they have been…. maybe next month we will be making … our own gingerbread houses? I’ve always wanted to do that …..
2 cups (250 grams/8.82 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons(28 grams/1 ounce) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams/0.06 ounces) unsweetened baking cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon (1.15 grams/0.04 ounces) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (approx. 3 grams/0.11 ounces) salt
3 tablespoons (42 grams/1.5 ounces) vegetable or olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 grams/0.18 ounces) white wine vinegar
Approximately 1/2 cup (approx. 59 grams/approx. 4 fluid ounces/approx. 125 ml) sweet Marsala or any white or red wine you have on hand
1 large egg, separated (you will need the egg white but not the yolk)
Vegetable or any neutral oil for frying – about 2 quarts (8 cups/approx. 2 litres)
1/2 cup (approx. 62 grams/2 ounces) toasted, chopped pistachio nuts, mini chocolate chips/grated chocolate and/or candied or plain zests, fruits etc.. for garnish
Note – If you want a chocolate cannoli dough, substitute a few tablespoons of the flour (about 25%) with a few tablespoons of dark, unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch process) and a little more wine until you have a workable dough (Thanks to Audax).
DIRECTIONS FOR SHELLS:
1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer or food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the oil, vinegar, and enough of the wine to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and well blended, about 2 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge from 2 hours to overnight.
2 Cut the dough into two pieces. Keep the remaining dough covered while you work. Lightly flour a large cutting or pastry board and roll the dough until super thin, about 1/16 to 1/8” thick (An area of about 13 inches by 18 inches should give you that). Cut out 3 to 5-inch circles (3-inch – small/medium; 4-inch – medium/large; 5-inch;- large. Your choice). Roll the cut out circle into an oval, rolling it larger and thinner if it’s shrunk a little.
3 Oil the outside of the cannoli tubes (You only have to do this once, as the oil from the deep fry will keep them well, uhh, oiled..lol). Roll a dough oval from the long side (If square, position like a diamond, and place tube/form on the corner closest to you, then roll) around each tube/form and dab a little egg white on the dough where the edges overlap. (Avoid getting egg white on the tube, or the pastry will stick to it.) Press well to seal. Set aside to let the egg white seal dry a little.
4. In a deep heavy saucepan, pour enough oil to reach a depth of 3 inches, or if using an electric deep-fryer, follow the manufacturer’s directions. Heat the oil to 375°F (190 °C) on a deep fry thermometer, or until a small piece of the dough or bread cube placed in the oil sizzles and browns in 1 minute. Have ready a tray or sheet pan lined with paper towels or paper bags.
5. Carefully lower a few of the cannoli tubes into the hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. Fry the shells until golden, about 2 minutes, turning them so that they brown evenly.
8. Lift a cannoli tube with a wire skimmer or large slotted spoon, out of the oil. Using tongs, grasp the cannoli tube at one end. Very carefully remove the cannoli tube with the open sides straight up and down so that the oil flows back into the pan. Place the tube on paper towels or bags to drain. Repeat with the remaining tubes. While they are still hot, grasp the tubes with a potholder and pull the cannoli shells off the tubes with a pair of tongs, or with your hand protected by an oven mitt or towel. Let the shells cool completely on the paper towels. Place shells on cooling rack until ready to fill.
9. Repeat making and frying the shells with the remaining dough. If you are reusing the cannoli tubes, let them cool before wrapping them in the dough.
Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Recipe
3 squares unsweet bakers chocolate
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup water
½ cup sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup heavy cream whipped (soft peaks)
Melt chocolate in microwave and set aside.
On top of double boiler soften gelatin in water. Stilling until dissolved. Add ½ cup sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Once cool combine corn syrup vanilla gelatin and sugar mixture. Beat on high speed with a hand mixer for 15 minutes or soft peaks have formed.
Fold in chocolate quickly.
Fold in whipped heavy cream.