If there’s an Italian dessert I adore, it’s cannoli. There’s something alluring about a crisp shell filled with creamy ricotta studded with chocolate, pistachios and even the occasional orange zest. The interesting thing is, as much as they look like a labored dessert, homemade cannoli isn’t that hard to make at all. It’s actually very easy – easier than you think! I had friends come over to play in the kitchen with me and we had a blast making cannoli. One of the recipes we made included these Chocolate Cannoli that we all loved…
After making the dough for the cannoli shells, we focused on fillings. This filling was especially tasty because it was chockful of raisins and chopped chocolate. Making the filling entailed whipping heavy cream until it held soft peaks and folding in toasted pistachios, raisins and chocolate. The ricotta is then introduced and voila… the filling is ready!
Once the filling was done, we dipped the ends of our homemade cannoli shells in melted chocolate, then in toasted pistachios. When the chocolate set up after a minute or two, we used a pastry bag to pipe the filling into the shells. The hardest part is holding off from eating the cannoli after you’ve made them! Now if only I could find a recipe for gluten free cannoli shells…
recipe from Michael Chiarello
1 cup unsalted pistachios
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 cup ricotta, drained from excess moisture
14 cannoli shells (store bought or homemade)
In a medium skillet over medium high heat, toast the unsalted pistachios until lightly browned. Remove from heat, cool and finely chop. Place chopped pistachios in a bowl.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream with 1 tablespoon of sugar until it holds a soft peak. Fold in the raisins, 1/3 of the chopped chocolate, 1/3 of the chopped toasted pistachios and another 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Gently fold the ricotta into the whipped cream mixture. When ready to serve, spoon the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a fat round tip. Fill the cannoli shells from each end.
Blend the remaining chopped chocolate and pistachios on a plate. To garnish, dip each end of the cannoli into the chocolate pistachio mixture.
Cannoli can be filled and stored in the refrigerator no more than 1 hour ahead of time.
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