venerdì 27 novembre 2009

I'm from Sicily like a cannolo. Sono siciliana tanto quanto un cannolo.

The November 2009 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.
Lidisano’s CannoliMakes 22-24 4-inch cannoli
Prep time:Dough – 2 hours and 10-20 minutes, including resting time, and depending on whether you do it by hand or machine.
Filling – 5-10 minutes plus chilling time (about 2 hours or more)
Frying – 1-2 minutes per cannoliAssemble – 20–30 minutes


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
Confectioners' sugar

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).

2 lbs (approx. 3.5 cups/approx. 1 kg/32 ounces) ricotta cheese, drained
1 2/3 cups cup (160 grams/6 ounces) confectioner’s sugar, (more or less, depending on how sweet you want it), sifted
1/2 teaspoon (1.15 grams/0.04 ounces) ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon (4 grams/0.15 ounces) pure vanilla extract or the beans from one vanilla bean
3 tablespoons (approx. 28 grams/approx. 1 ounce) finely chopped good quality chocolate of your choice
2 tablespoons (12 grams/0.42 ounces) of finely chopped, candied orange peel, or the grated zest of one small to medium orange
3 tablespoons (23 grams/0.81 ounce) toasted, finely chopped pistachios
Note - If you want chocolate ricotta filling, add a few tablespoons of dark, unsweetened cocoa powder to the above recipe, and thin it out with a few drops of warm water if too thick to pipe.

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, 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.
Pasta Machine method:
1. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Starting at the middle setting, run one of the pieces of dough through the rollers of a pasta machine. Lightly dust the dough with flour as needed to keep it from sticking. Pass the dough through the machine repeatedly, until you reach the highest or second highest setting. The dough should be about 4 inches wide and thin enough to see your hand through
2. Continue rolling out the remaining dough. If you do not have enough cannoli tubes for all of the dough, lay the pieces of dough on sheets of plastic wrap and keep them covered until you are ready to use them.
3, Roll, cut out and fry the cannoli shells as according to the directions above.

For stacked cannoli:
1. Heat 2-inches of oil in a saucepan or deep sauté pan, to 350-375°F (176 - 190 °C).
2. Cut out desired shapes with cutters or a sharp knife. Deep fry until golden brown and blistered on each side, about 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from oil with wire skimmer or large slotted spoon, then place on paper towels or bags until dry and grease free. If they balloon up in the hot oil, dock them lightly prior to frying. Place on cooling rack until ready to stack with filling.

1. Line a strainer with cheesecloth. Place the ricotta in the strainer over a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Weight it down with a heavy can, and let the ricotta drain in the refrigerator for several hours to overnight.
2. In a bowl with electric mixer, beat ricotta until smooth and creamy. Beat in confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and blend until smooth. Transfer to another bowl and stir in chocolate, zest and nuts. Chill until firm.(The filling can be made up to 24 hours prior to filling the shells. Just cover and keep refrigerated).

1. When ready to serve..fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain or star tip, or a ziplock bag, with the ricotta cream. If using a ziplock bag, cut about 1/2 inch off one corner. Insert the tip in the cannoli shell and squeeze gently until the shell is half filled. Turn the shell and fill the other side. You can also use a teaspoon to do this, although it’s messier and will take longer.
2. Press or dip cannoli in chopped pistachios, grated chocolate/mini chocolate chips, candied fruit or zest into the cream at each end. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and/or drizzles of melted chocolate if desired.
- Dough must be stiff and well kneaded
- Rolling the dough to paper thinness, using either a rolling pin or pasta machine, is very important. If the dough is not rolled thin enough, it will not blister, and good cannoli should have a blistered surface.
- Initially, this dough is VERY stubborn, but keep rolling, it eventually gives in. Before cutting the shapes, let the dough rest a bit, covered, as it tends to spring back into a smaller shapes once cut. Then again, you can also roll circles larger after they’re cut, and/or into ovals, which gives you more space for filling.
- Your basic set of round cutters usually doesn’t contain a 5-inch cutter. Try a plastic container top, bowl etc, or just roll each circle to 5 inches. There will always be something in your kitchen that’s round and 5-inches if you want large cannoli.
- Oil should be at least 3 inches deep and hot – 360°F-375°F, or you’ll end up with greasy shells. I prefer 350°F - 360°F because I felt the shells darkened too quickly at 375°F.
- If using the cannoli forms, when you drop the dough on the form into the oil, they tend to sink to the bottom, resulting in one side darkening more. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to gently lift and roll them while frying.
- DO NOT crowd the pan. Cannoli should be fried 2-4 at a time, depending on the width of your saucepan or deep fryer. Turn them once, and lift them out gently with a slotted spoon/wire skimmer and tongs. Just use a wire strainer or slotted spoon for flat cannoli shapes.
- When the cannoli turns light brown - uniform in color, watch it closely or remove it. If it’s already a deep brown when you remove it, you might end up with a really dark or slightly burnt shell.
- Depending on how much scrap you have left after cutting out all of your cannoli shapes, you can either fry them up and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar for a crispy treat, or let the scraps rest under plastic wrap and a towel, then re-roll and cut more cannoli shapes.
- Push forms out of cannoli very gently, being careful not to break the shells as they are very delicate. DO NOT let the cannoli cool on the form, or you may never get it off without it breaking. Try to take it off while still hot. Hold it with a cloth in the center, and push the form out with a butter knife or the back of a spoon.
- When adding the confectioner’s sugar to the filling..TASTE. You may like it sweeter than what the recipe calls for, or less sweet, so add in increments.
- Fill cannoli right before serving! If you fill them an hour or so prior, you’ll end up with soggy cannoli shells.
- If you want to prepare the shells ahead of time, store them in an airtight container, then re-crisp in a 350°F (176 °C) oven for a few minutes, before filling.
- Practice makes perfect. My first batch of shells came out less than spectacular, and that’s an understatement. As you go along, you’ll see what will make them more aesthetically pleasing, and adjust accordingly when rolling. My next several batches turned out great. Don’t give up!!

I’ve some claim about recipe.
In Sicily, in west part indeed, cannoli are more simple either in the dough either in the filling.
No cinnamon in the dough or other than just cocoa or coffee powder for flavouring.
No vanilla flavour or cinnamon in the ricotta cheese filling just sugar, ricotta, chocolate and candied peel orange anything else.
And the ancient filling is more simple, just ricotta and sugar.
So I can’t agree with this recipe.
In one of my older post I’ve reported two recipe one coming from the bakery of the village where my parents live and one from “bitter almonds” Maria Grammatico’s book.
She’s one of the most famous and brilliant pastry chef in Sicily and also the depositary of our ancient sweet culture.
I had both versions, more simple and fragile at the same moment from bakery and stronger and flavourful from Maria Grammatico.
I can't choose my favorite.
In my daring baker posts I've used to be ironic and funny but right now with this recipe I can't.
As I read "cannoli" I was suddenly sad thinking about my wonderful and persecuted island.
Being Sicilian even if pregnant gave me the moral enhance to partecipate to this month Daring Challenge.

A challenge that forced me running into the kitchen with febrile motion just to do one of the most known sweet of my region.

A tribute to sicilian smells and flavours, to sheep ricotta cheese, to our wild and suffered countryland.

I can't resist.

And I can't resist to publish this videoKeep in mind that both actors are sicilian and they're talking about what being sicilian means.
One on the left side is proud to be sicilian and the other one on the right is ashmed to be.
The left and the right in the dialogue are in opposite and they become lyric talking about our heroes: Giovanni Falcone, Paolo Borsellino, don Pino Puglisi two magistrate and a priest murdered from mafia.
This is in my opinion being sicilian.

Proud and talentous and dishonest or lazy at the same time.
It' s always a contraddiction, we love and hate our island we felt in love and we go away as we can.
This is the reason why I've stopped my silence and take this challenge like a present.
Here in my flickr set you can find some shots taken in my Island's part (I'm from Trapani at the west end) I hope you'll enjoy them.
Maybe I'll deliver during the first part of december, I need your support.
See you soon.

24 commenti:

Aiuolik ha detto...

Thanks for this post. When I read the recipe my first though was "but this is not the original recipe!", so I really appreciate your cents. Of course, I also appreciate Ficarra and Picone :-)

Dips ha detto...

Wow...great account to read from a Sicilian..Good luck with your on-coming baby !!

Rosa's Yummy Yums ha detto...

They look so good! A delightful speciality!



Natalie ha detto...

I loved reading your opinion about the recipe...
I often wonder about the recipes I use and how close the results are to the authentic dishes ...

Audax ha detto...

The left and the right in the dialogue are in opposite and they become lyric talking about our heroes... a very thoughtful post and it makes me happy and sad at the same time. And yes it is tough when you have the real taste of the real historical cannoli. Wonderful post and the cannoli looks so good. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

enza ha detto...

I'm realizing that the original recipe is not in english so I'm going to traslate it.
If hare going to do again cannoli please keep in mind that using the bakery one you must fill cannoli ONLY at the serving time and eat them immediately.
with the Grammatico's recipe you can go slowly and fill them 1 hour prior consume.

zorra ha detto...

Cara, I love Sicily too. 20 years ago I spent 2 weeks on this precious island!And almost came home with an Sicilian fidanzato. ;-)

Lydia ha detto...

Ah ah ah, at first sight I thought it was not your blog!!!!
Chettepossino, how to say it in English...??? Theycouldyou, it does not sound good... ;-)))
I love cannoli and Ficarra and PIcone.
Have a nice w.e.

enza ha detto...

lydia non sapevi di questa ulteriore perversione? :D

Patrizia ha detto...

oddio tutti inglesi parlate?...ed io che c'ho messo una vita ad imparare il francese, come sono indietro!!
cmq Enzuccia vabé, io te lo scrivo nella mia lingua madre e chisenefrega!!!"me lo mandi uno, uno solo, mi renderai felice almeno fino all'estate prossima,quando andro' in Sicilia a mangiarne uno con il sole dentro"....un baciotto grande!

Edda ha detto...

Very very interesting! Lovely shot!
Sei profondamente siciliana e hai fatto benissimo a specificare tutto pero' non puoi darmi voglia cosi', voglio partiiiire n Sicilia giusto per degustare un cannolo appena fatto!!!
Bravissima anche per il post ultra dettagliato
Buon fine settimana

Sarah ha detto...

They are beautiful!

Unknown ha detto...

Enza, you did well to try the recipe you know as not authentic. Do you think it tastes similar? There are very few ingredients in the bakery recipe. Simple and delicious. Fantastic to have your opinion.Thanks.

Laura ha detto...

Enza, non sono mai stata in Sicilia, e vorrei tanto visitarla un giorno. Devo dire che ho tanti pregiudizi sulla Sicilia e mi dispiace, sono dovuti all'ignoranza. Ho anch'io queste sensazioni, fiera di essere Veneziana, ma non cosi' fiera di essere Italiana.

enza ha detto...

I think it's too flavoured and strange to taste compared with classic recipe.
but not bad at all.
Laura posso capire la tua reticenza ma come sempre accade nascere e vivere lì è diverso che visitarla da turisti.
una cultura millenaria, un fascino particolare, insomma rischieresti il mal di sicilia così come chi va in africa torna con il mal d'africa.
Eppure, se ci pensi bene entrambi sono ammantatati di pregiudizi.

sijeleng ha detto...

Nice, thoughtful post. Lovely looking cannoli and I appreciate how difficult it is to go against what you know to be the correct taste to complete a challenge.

Aparna Balasubramanian ha detto...

It is nice to know how this tastes from someone who knows all about it.
This is the first time I have ever eaten or even seen cannoli. I personally prefer it simple.

I hope things work out in your part of the country and best wishes with your delivery. I am sure all will be well.

Lisa ha detto...

First off, your cannoli turned out gorgeous..perfectly golden and blistered shells! Secondly, I suppose you could call these Italian - AMERICAN cannoli, as you know how all kinds of authentic food are always tweaked a bit and changed as they make their way around the world. Regardless, the simplicity of tru authentic Sicilian cannoli sounds perfect, and I've heard adding coffee to the shell gives it much more flavor, sso I'll add that to my post :0

Finally, great video, and Sicily is a beautiful island! I wish only the best for it and the people, including yourself :)

Thank you for deep frying with me this month!

Unknown ha detto...

Enza sono siciliana tanto quanto te ed i cannoli ^_^ ecco perchè non ti rispondo in inglese... umhh non ho capito proprio tutto, ma il succo si:) W la sicilia, i nostri sapori, i nostri profumi e la nostra gente:) Bbbbbbboni i cannoli!

Alessandra ha detto...

Ciao Enza, maybe one day I will put on some of my pics of Trapani and Erice, I'll wait a bit longer and anyway I have so many other Italian cities in line, and photos to sort out...
I wish you a very happy delivery, and good family time, and time for yourself, if you can manage, put your feet up these last few days, and take care.


enza ha detto...

alessandra, I can understand.
and I have lots of italian pics too.
We'll enjoy our reportage toghether, I wish.
I must fight my insomnia at all.

Laura ha detto...

Enza, come ti capisco, accade anche con Venezia, tutti mi chiedono solo del fatto che sta sprofondando, non di altro. Venezia ha una storia incredibile e non si puo' vedere in un giorno. Un giorno andro' in Sicilia, e spero di conoscerla di piu'.

Mariù ha detto...

Preziosissimo questo post per me perché mi ha riportata a quello vecchio che imparerò a memoria e considererò cosa santa.
Ho provato a fare i cannoli con un'altra ricetta poco tempo fa, mi sono venuti una bella schifezza, ero convinta che mai ci avrei riprovato, per i secoli dei secoli... e invece eccoti qua, una siciliana doc che tramanda i segreti per realizzare il mio dolce forse preferito in assoluto.
Non dovrai aspettare molto per vedere cosa combino...
Un bacione!

emilia ha detto...

Io non parlo inglese ma da buona donna del sud ammiro e adoro i cannoli siciliani.
Brava ! Tutto bene la gravidanza ?
Buona giornata :-)