Cannoli forms/tubes - optional, but recommended if making traditional shaped cannoli.
How to make Cannoli without Shells/Forms/Metal tubes?
Nothing beats the original form to make a great looking Cannoli. But then here are some options you can try. I haven't personally used any of the following (I had the forms!) but this is a concise list from internet and from fellow daring baker's personal experiences. Hope this helps:
- Dried cannelloni pasta tubes work just as well!
- You can try using heavy duty aluminum foil and roll into a tight cylinder.
- Use broomstick handles! Cut down a thin broomstick to 4-6-inch lengths (or any length you require). Wash and scrub it well with hot soapy water until clean. Make sure the surface is smooth. Rinse in hot water and dry thoroughly. Use them as it is, which proved to be quite a problem for some fellow daring bakers since the dough got stuck to it. My tip that could possibly work is to wrap the broom handle with aluminum foil and then wrap the dough on it.
- Use steel curtain rods. Cut it into 4-6 inch pieces and use them as forms
- For the cannoli shells
- 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 ( I used rice 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 (I used Pomegranate juice - you can use grape,apple,cranberry etc. Just add little more vinegar to the dough)
- 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
- For the Savory filling
- 1 cup cannellini beans, cooked (canned works perfectly)
- 1 small red onion,chopped finely
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or as per taste)
- 1/2-1 tsp Italian seasoning (as per taste)
- fresh parsley/cilantro leaves for garnish, chopped
- 1 tbsp melted butter/olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- For the Sweet filling - from Food Network Website
- 1 cup unsalted pistachios, toasted and chopped finely
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 1 cup ricotta
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 dough1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer or food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt.
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).
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.
Method - For the savory filling
Its the simplest savory version you can make with delicious results. Just mash the cannellini beans well
Method - For the Sweet Filling
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream with 1 tablespoon of sugar until it holds a soft peak.
In a large bowl fold together the whipped cream, raisins, 1/3 of the chopped chocolate, 1/3 of the chopped pistachios and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Gently fold the whipped cream mixture into the ricotta. When ready to serve, spoon the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a fat round tip.
Blend the remaining chopped chocolate and pistachios on a plate.
To garnish: Dip each end of the cannoli into the chocolate pistachio mixture.
How to bake Cannoli instead of deep frying
If you prefer to steer clear of the deep fry, you can bake the shell. You won’t get the snappy, blistery texture and appearance that make cannoli so special, but I’m sure it’ll taste good nonetheless. Here’s a link where the cook bakes some of his cannoli shells: http://www.ifood.tv/network/cannoli/recipes
Have a favorite recipe?
- Know a family recipe your mom used to make? Or maybe a go to recipe that works everytime? Share it with your fellow foodies!