About this recipe:A wonderful Italian recipe, originating from Sicily. Fried pastry tubes are filled with a mixture of ricotta cheese, sugar, mixed peel and chocolate. Serve as a dessert, snack, with a glass of wine or a cup of tea or coffee.
Makes: 30 cannoli
375g plain flour
50g caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons margarine
1 egg yolk
125ml Marsala wine
1 tablespoon distilled malt vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 egg white
1 litre oil for frying or as needed
900g ricotta cheese
60g icing sugar
240g cut mixed peel
115g plain chocolate, chopped
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In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in the margarine until it is in pieces no larger than peas. Make a well in the centre and pour in the egg, egg yolk, Marsala wine, vinegar and water. Mix with a fork until the dough becomes stiff, then finish it by hand, kneading on a clean surface. Add a bit more water if needed to incorporate all of the dry ingredients. Knead for about 10 minutes, then cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
Divide the cannoli dough into thirds and flatten each one just enough to get through a pasta machine. Roll the dough through successively thinner settings until you have reached the thinnest setting. Dust lightly with flour if necessary. Place the sheet of dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a large glass or bowl, cut out 10 to 12.5cm circles. Dust the circles with a light coating of flour. This will help you later in removing the shells from the tubes. Roll dough around cannoli tubes, sealing the edge with a bit of egg white.
Heat the oil to 190 degrees C in a deep fat fryer or deep heavy pan. Fry shells on the tubes a few at a time for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden. Use tongs to turn as needed. Carefully remove using the tongs and place on a wire rack set over kitchen towels. Cool just long enough that you can handle the tubes, then carefully twist the tube to remove the shell. Using a tea towel may help you get a better grip. Wash or wipe off the tubes and use them for more shells. Cooled shells can be placed in an airtight container and kept for up to 2 months. You should only fill them immediately or up to 1 hours before serving
To make the filling, stir together the ricotta cheese and icing sugar using a spoon. Fold in the cut peel and chocolate. Use a piping bag to pipe into shells, filling from the centre to one end, then doing the same from the other side. Dust with additional icing sugar and grated chocolate for garnish when serving.
Cannoli tubes are required for this recipe. You can purchase them online.
The filling can be made using grated orange and lemon zest instead of mixed peel. Other variations include using chocolate chips, cocktail cherries or dipping the ends of cannoli in chopped pistachios.