Friday, November 27, 2009

Daring Bakers - Holy Cannoli!



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.

My cannoli were made according to Lisa Michele's recipe without any changes, given that I really only had a vague idea what cannoli were and had certainly never tried them before. I only made a half batch of shells, using Marsala, and quartered the given ricotta filling recipe, which contained chocolate, orange zest and nuts. The ends of the cannoli were dipped in chopped chocolate and mixed chopped nuts, respectively.


Here is my cannoli dough prior to rolling into submission:


I took the plunge and deep fried my cannoli shells, just as the recipe intended. I am scared witless of deep frying, but I survived intact, despite all of the protesting, popping and spitting from the oil in the pan. Despite my kitchen measuring 29 degrees Celsius on my digital thermometer, I wore a light weight cardigan while frying the shells so that I had some protection for my arms in the event that the pan spat too vehemently and caught my limbs. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to control the oil temperature that well, and some of the shells ended up a little on the dark brown side.

The shells blistered like they were supposed to, which made me feel justified in christening the pasta machine that had previously lived for 5 years unopened on the top of my kitchen cupboard to ensure that my dough was ultra thin. I understand from my research that ultra thin dough is required to obtain blistering of the shells. Here's the pasta machine in action:



And here are my unfilled but fried to perfection (errr - or a little more) cannoli shells:


I am proud that they turned out warty and ugly, just like they're supposed to. And as for taste - well, once filled with ricotta, they were delicious! When I bit into the crispy shell, it shattered and gave way to the moist, smooth filling inside, with a curious combination of flavours and textures that somehow seemed just right.


Thanks to Lisa Michele for being our host this month and introducing me to something entirely new (oh yeah, and making me conquer my fear of the deep fryer). You can get the recipe I used from Lisa Michele's post. To check out the many creative varieties of cannoli dreamed up by the other Daring Bakers, visit the blogroll at
The Daring Kitchen.

36 comments:

Jennifer said...

Cannoli are so good! Yours look PERFECT!!!!!!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Jennifer :) (Swells with happiness ...)

Flourchild said...

I think your cannolis look wonderful! I will have to try and make my own someday!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Michelle! They are surprisingly easy, although fiddly, to make.

Wic said...

they look absolute delicious, the color of them is divine.

Anita said...

The dough looks great using the pasta machine - I should have done that, I wasn't strong enough to roll it out by hand. Great work the finished product looks great.

Stephcookie said...

Yours turned out just right! Haha I love how you described them as warty and ugly, that's exactly how I was describing mine! But like you said, warty and ugly is a good thing in this case :)

Ellie said...

Very nicely done! I like how they blistered so nicely!

imasugarjunkie said...

Wow - how good do they look! there is nothing better than a good cannoli!

Mochachocolata Rita said...

oh my goodness! these look really good. i want these sweet pasta! the ones i tried (penne with white chocolate in a restaurant) was yuck.

muffinsareuglycupcakes said...

absolutely love your title.
made me laugh!
love that golden colour.
looking awesome! :)

Trissa said...

Congratulations on finally using your pasta machine - judging from how authentic your cannoli looks - it was worth it. Hopefully you get to use it more now!

s said...

absolutely yummilicious!!

jillbert said...

Wow, they look great! I've had cannoli, but sure never thought of making them at home.

I have a pasta maker that I never use, but I've seen a couple of recipes lately where you roll the dough in the pasta maker - I guess it's nice to have one even if it doesn't get used very much.

The Blonde Duck said...

Those look drool-worthy...

Lauren said...

They're adorable! Love the blisters =D.

Barbara said...

Love seeing how all of you daring bakers do the cannolis differently. And they all look super!

Ivy said...

They look delicious. I feel tempted to make them.

Aparna said...

Those cannoli look great. And they got your pasta machine out of the cupboard! LOL

Y said...

Stunning cannoli! Awesome that you also finally got to use your pasta machine!

glamah16 said...

They look like the deep fried goodness they are supposed to be! The filling really makes them. Well done.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

They are beautiful and very tempting! Great job!

Cheers,

Rosa

Audax said...

They look stunning and the filling sounds even better and the pictures are superb. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

nikki said...

Nice blisters and shells! A pasta machine would be so helpful with this challenge, I wrestled with the dough a little but rolled it into submission nonetheless. Great work.

Lisa Michelle said...

WOW..for someone who had never made cannoli before, and has a fear of deep frying, you banged this challenge out perfectly. Your cannoli are well, perfect (awesome blistering)! One would never know they didn't come from an Italian Pastry shop in NYC or Boston's North End!! Major, major kudos, and thanks for deep frying with me this month!

isa said...

They look beautiful! Your Cannoli shells are absolutely perfect! Very good idea to use your pasta machine.

Sandy Smith said...

Great idea to use the pasta machine! Wish I had one ~ this dough was tough to roll. A good workout! :)

Gloria said...

Cakelaw these look tempting and delicious!! belle! gloria

Brenda said...

Oh wow! Great job!!!!

Linda@eatshowandtell said...

It's funny to read that the DBC unites people in more than one way. I christened my pasta machine as well, it has been in my cupboard un-opened for 10 years lol. I think your cannoli turned out perfectly well, glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. What a great tasting treat for such little effort.

Natalie, aka "Sheltie Girl" said...

You did a wonderful job on your cannoli. Frying food is fun isn't it?!

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Jenny Tan said...

Your cannoli looks perfect! If only I knew to get my pasta machine out...I wouldn't feel SHORT again...using the help of a step stool to ROLL OUT the springy dough! :P lol.

Simon said...

It's amazing to see how many people have an issue with deep frying. However, I'm glad to see that you overcame any reservations about it and did it as intended.

Found the whole pasta machine thing rather funny. I haven't purchased one yet as I know it would be in the cupboard unused for about the same period of time :)

TeaLady said...

These were fun, weren't they. And easy enough to make again.

Yours look great.

Tia said...

wow did u use cannoli molds? they look perfectly crispy

Cakelaw said...

Hi Tia, yes, I used cannoli moulds.