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: As Compiled by Artie Bucco by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone. She also added her own modifications and changes.
Can I just say that I completely LOVED this challenge!
After missing the last two Daring Cooks challenges and not having much success with the October Daring Bakers’ challenge, it was such a pleasure to try making cannoli.
This was a first for me. I’ve never tried cannoli at home mainly because, to be honest, I’m not a huge cannoli fan. They’re okay, but they wouldn’t be my first choice when it cames to Italian desserts.
And I think I now know why.
After making the cannoli shells on my own, I can see that most of the cannoli shells that you buy at the store and even at bakeries, pale in comparison.
The recipe that Lisa provided created a shell that was crispy and light, with a faint hint of Marsala that was so pleasing.
And the filling was rich and luscious.
Perhaps what made this most worthwhile is that I finally got to use the cannoli molds that I purchased several years ago. I purchased them to use in making rolled cookies like tuiles, but I think in all this time I’ve only used them once.
While I considered rolling out the dough myself, I wimped out and used my pasta machine (thankfully Lisa included that in the instructions).
It was a breeze to roll out the dough with the machine. I wrapped the circles of dough around the molds and fried those babies up.
They looked so lovely coming out of the oil that I had to resist the urge to remove them from the mold right away. I found that if you let them cool down a bit, they slide of easily.
I didn’t do anything really fancy with my filling. I flavoured it with cinnamon and vanilla extract and as for the shells, I dipped the edges in melted bittersweet chocolate and then in ground pistachios.
These were just so delicious. The shells were so crispy they shattered when you bit into them. The filling was creamy and perfect and the chocolate and pistachios were just the right touch.
In the course of frying the cannoli shells, a few came off the mold because I hadn’t secured them properly but no worries, I used the shells to make cannoli stacks as Lisa suggested.
Thank you so much to Lisa for hosting. That’s another challenge to cross off the list!