Sicilian Cannoli

How To Make Cannoli Like A Sicilian Pastry Chef

Few desserts are as satisfying as a good cannolo, and no one understands how to make this iconic dessert better than the Sicilians. When I visited my friends at Brunetti Classico in Melbourne, (Australia) their skilled pastry chef shared the secrets to making authentic Sicilian cannoli.

Surprisingly, this recipe is easier than you may think and delivers the perfect combination of satisfying crunch, sweet creaminess, and subtle yet delicious flavors that leave your tastebuds feeling a LOT more Italian. All you’ll need is a few basic ingredients, some unique utensils, and maybe most importantly, tender love and care.

Watch the Sicilian Cannoli video recipe here:

 

How To Make Cannoli Like A Sicilian Pastry Chef

 best cannoli recipe   

Vincenzo’s Plate Tips

Create Your Own Flavors

One of the best parts of making cannoli is that you can use a variety of your favourite flavours to fill them with! In Italy, we like to use fresh pistachios and dark chocolate to dip in the edges. Ricotta combined with sugar, dark chocolate, and citrus peel is one of the most traditional flavor combinations – and obviously, it’s my favorite. When I tried it in Italy I ran back to the pastry shop for more, it was like nothing I had ever tasted. Honestly? Brunetti comes close and really gives the feeling of being back in Italy.

Get Your Hands Dirty

Even though a stand mixer can get the job done more quickly, using your hands to combine your pastry dough is one of the best ways to get a perfect consistency every time. Plus, you might treat it as a free stress-relief workout!

Be Gentle With The Dough

When it’s time to shape the cannoli, don’t overthink the process. Be gentle with the dough while molding it around the cannoli tube. This will help it retain its shape when you place it in the deep fryer.

Wrap the dough tightly

When it’s time for the dough to rest, make sure you wrap it tightly in the plastic and don’t let any air in. Similarly, when you are cutting it, wrap or cover any you might not be using so it doesn’t dry out.

Be generous with the ricotta

Sure, a crunchy cannoli shell is beautiful, but the filling is the true star of this show. That’s why I never suggest using ricotta from a plastic tub when making this recipe. Go ahead and splurge on the fresh variety from your local grocer or delicatessen; you won’t regret it.

Tips for Frying

When frying the cannoli shells, they don’t rise to the top like other fried foods you might be used to making, because they are weighed down by the tube. If you aren’t using a deep fryer, use a set of long tongs to flip them. This will make sure they don’t burn or stock to the bottom. It will also ensure they are cooked evenly all the way around. Especially if you don’t have the luxury of a large professional fryer with a weight!

Don’t overcrowd the pot

You can cook more than one cannoli shell at a time, just make sure there is enough room next to each so that the pot/fryer is not overcrowded.

Remove the cannoli quickly

You will need to remove the cannoli shells from their forms while they are still warm because if you leave them to cool, they can sometimes stick.

cannoli shells and cream

How to Serve Cannoli

Cannoli are light, crunchy, and perfect after a family meal or with an espresso. No matter the time of day, top your cannoli with sweet or nutty add-ons and enjoy a delicious treat that will satisfy any sweet cravings.

cannoli recipe

how to make sicilian cannoli

Sicilian Cannoli Recipe

Cannoli are one of the most iconic desserts in Italy, and making them at home can be surprisingly simple. In this recipe, I'll show you how to make fresh cannoli like a Sicilian pastry chef so you can enjoy this delicate dessert at home.

Equipment

  • Cannoli tube (Stainless steel)
  • 5inch round/oval cannoli cookie cutter
  • 1 Large mixing bowl
  • 2 Small bowls
  • Rolling pin
  • Clear wrap
  • Pastry brush
  • Piping bag
  • Deep fryer (Optional) or Large pot for frying
  • Long tongs
  • Drum Sieve (Optional)

Ingredients
  

For The Pastry:

  • 300 g Plain flour 10.5oz
  • 300 g Bread/bakers flour 10.5 oz
  • 60 g Sugar 2.1 oz
  • 60 g Vegetable shortening 2.1 oz
  • 10 ml White wine 3.3 oz
  • 100 ml Marsala 3.3 oz. or red wine
  • 50 ml Red wine vinegar 1.6 oz
  • 3 g Salt 0.1oz
  • 3 g Honey 0.1oz
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract /essence
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 Egg yolks

For The Filling:

  • 500 g Fresh Ricotta 17.6 oz
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 50 g Sugar 1.7 oz

Instructions
 

To Make The Pastry:

  • Combine both types of flour and half the vegetable shortening in a large bowl.
  • Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on top, then add vanilla extract, honey, sugar and salt.
  • Combine ingredients thoroughly using a large spoon.
  • In another bowl, separate the egg yolks and whites.
  • Add the yolks, Marsala, white wine, and red wine vinegar into the mixture, and this time, combine using your hands.
  • If it looks too dry, add a touch of red wine until it reaches an elastic consistency.
  • Wrap the dough tightly in clear wrap and let it rest in the fridge for two hours.
  • After it has rested, roll the dough out with a large rolling pin into a thin layer.
  • Using an oval-shaped cookie cutter, cut the dough into pieces and place them in a row, gently stacking the edges on top of each other.
  • Using a pastry brush, coat the cannoli with the egg whites.
  • Wrap each piece of dough around individual cannoli tubes.
  • Preheat a deep fryer with the cooking oil of your choice to 180°C/356°F.
  • Fry each shell until it is brown and crispy.

To Make The Filling:

  • Combine ricotta cheese, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl until well blended.
  • You can also mix through citrus peel or dark chocolate chips at this point.
  • For a lighter, smoother filling, if you have a drum sieve, scrape the mixture through until it has gone all the way through. It’s not completely necessary but if you are using a thicker ricotta you might prefer the texture. Another option is to use a hand mixer on medium-high speed.
  • Scoop the filling into a piping bag and store it in the fridge until you’re ready.

Make The Cannoli

  • Pipe the filling into the cannoli shell one side at a time, ensuring no gaps are in the middle.
  • Dip the edges of the cannoli in the toppings of your choice.
  • Dust with powdered sugar.

Video

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!

Sicilian Cannoli Vincenzo's Plate

Do you want to prepare an entire Sicilian menu? Here are two recipes that will transport you to Sicily from the first bite to the last!

Sicilian Arancini with herbs sitting on a white plate

how to make sicilian eggplant pasta

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