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(Experiment 75) Canolli

This is my take on one of Italy’s classics. I’m personally not a fan of ricotta cheese so here I am doing a half and half with mascarpone. Are these the best I have ever had? Definitely not! I mean, back when I traveled to Italy I ate a few unbeatable ones. In any case, I think this recipe is quite decent.

Note, try to fill the shell at the last minute so they don’t get soggy.
You need : 

shell

  • ~90ml* marsala wine OR white wine OR white grape juice ( for a non-alcohol version )
  • 250g flour
  • 2 eggs separated
  • 30g butter chopped into small pieces
  • ~1L peanut oil for frying
  • pinch salt
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 20g icing sugar

*You may need a few extra tablespoons
**If you have white wine vinegar, add 1tsp in the dough ( when adding the wine)  it will make the shell even crispier

filling

  • 190g ricotta cheese, drained overnight
  • 190g mascarpone
  • 30-40g icing sugar ( depends if you like it very sweet or not)
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • (optional) pinch cinnamon, zest from orange/lemon, dash grand Marnier, etc
Instructions
  1. Use a spatula and combine all the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours. When ready to fill your shells, load a pastry bag and pipe each shell. 
  2. Now while the filling is cooling, let’s start on the shells. Using either a stand mixer or food processor, stir the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon together then combine with the butter. Add in your liquid ( wine or juice and the egg yolks ) and mix it together with your hands. Knead the dough for a few minutes(5-7 minutes), you want a smooth texture. Shape it into a ball or disc, cover it in plastic film and let it rest 60-90 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Heat up the oil in a pot to 360-375F. While it’s heat, it’s time to press and shape the dough. If you don’t have a lot of space to work with, chop the dough in half, lightly flour your work surface, and roll it down using a rolling pin. You want to press it down very thin ( 1/8″) then using a round cookie cutter or a large glass (about 4″ diameter) just punch some hole in the dough. Note you re-roll leftover and cut some more pieces, just reform a ball and let it rest a few minutes.
  4. Using a cannoli tube or dowel, wrap one round dough around it. To seal it, brush some egg white and flap the remaining portion. You can then throw them in the hot oil to fry for 2-3 minutes. You want a nice golden brown coloration.  Carefully remove from hot oil and let it sit on parchment paper to cool. I only have 4 cannoli tubes so I fry 2 at a time, when I’m done with the second batch, the first batch had time to cool and I can carefully remove the tube and repeat for another dough.
  5. Once the shells are fully cooled, simply fill with the mascarpone/ricotta mix, dust some icing sugar, and enjoy.

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