Cannoli Siciliana are a traditional treat made and sold in Italian bakeries around the world. They are sweet, crunchy and delightfully flavored and very rich. Normally served with a small espresso and glass of Anisette or other sweet liqueur. Magnifico!
- 1 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour; sifted
- 5 Tablespoons marsala; (or use any other fortified wine)
- 1 Tablespoon superfine sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 12 metal cannoli tubes; (cannoli forms may be made of wood, bamboo or steel)
- fat for deep frying
- 2 Cups ricotta cheese; as fresh as possible
- 1/2 Cup superfine sugar
- 1/4 Cup candied fruit; citron, orange peel, etc.
- 1/4 Cup pistachio nuts; coarsely chopped
- 1/4 Cup semi-sweet chocolate; cut in fine dice (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or orange flower water (optional)
- Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, make a well in the center, and add the wine and sugar.
- Work the flour into the center until you have a rather firm dough, something like noodle dough. If the dough is too crumbly add more wine, but do not let it become sticky.
- Place dough on a lightly floured pastry cloth or board and knead it and pound it vigorously for about 15 minutes. It should be perfectly smooth by then.
- Form it into a ball, wrap in a clean, slightly dampened cloth, and let it rest for 2 hours.
- When it has rested, roll it out on the pastry cloth or board until very thin (no more than 1/16 inch).
- Cut it into 5-inch squares and roll it around the metal tubes as follows: take a square and place it before you diamond fashion; one of the points toward you. Place the tube vertically across the middle of the diamond, each end at a point of the dough.
- Fold the sides over the tube, moistening the overlap with a little water and pressing together. When all the squares have been thus rolled, place them, a few at a time, into deep fat preheated to 375 degrees F. Remove them when they are golden brown (tongs are best for this, as the rolls are fragile) and let them drain on absorbent paper.
- When they are cool, slip off the tubes, and fill with the ricotta filling. Do not attempt to remove the tubes until the cannoli shells are fully cooled, at least 2 hours.
- Press the ricotta through a fine sieve into a bowl. Beat it until it is creamy and smooth. Beat in the rest of the ingredients with a large fork.
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tube (or merely use the nozzle, without a tube) and pipe the filling into the cooled shells. Fill each shell from the middle outwards, completing each shell in two fillings. When filled, dip the ends into mini chocolate chips, finely chopped pistachios or shredded coconut dyed green. Make sure that each cannoli has the same garnish on both sides. Optionally place a glace cherry in each end of the cannoli and chill. Makes 12 cannoli.
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