Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cannoli, Americanized

Have you missed me? Because, golly, I've missed you guys! And baking. I started a job (I know, what a drag) and I'm working FOREVER-long hours, so my free time is spent sleeping, sleeping, and oh yes, more sleeping. But finally, I found myself in possession of a day off, and of course, I had to make a sweet treat. :)

Back in my single days, I did a lot of crazy things to win over the heart of a really hot opera singer. I used to host these themed dinners, potluck-style, for my friends. My favorite was Italian night. Now that we're married, our themed dinners are on a much smaller scale. We whipped up tons of spaghetti and meat-a-balls, and I made Ariel bread, which is my own deviation of the classic garlic bread, with Alfredo sauce and paprika. But I felt like we needed to round it off with an authentic Italian dessert. I rifled through all my cookbooks, scoured all the websites I knew, but nothing seemed right. Tiramisu? Too alcoholic. Panna Cotta? Takes 4 freaking hours. Biscotti? Eh, maybe. And then I saw it: the classic, the wonderful, the cannoli. I couldn't find any pre-made cannoli shells anywhere. If only we had a fancy-schmancy bakery with petit fours and macarons in the display case. I'm sure with my wily ways I could have purchased un-filled shells. If only, if only. I thought, perhaps I will make them. I mean, how hard can it be? Ha. I don't have any cannoli tubes or a dowel lying around. Sam was quite averse to me even considering buying the white wine necessary for making the shells, too. I thought, surely my dreams of creating the perfect cannoli would be dashed. However, in my diligent interweb search, I found a sneaky fake-out that works almost as well. You want to know? Oh, I know you do.

Cannoli Fake-Out

24 ounces ricotta cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
12 sugar cones (I know, sneaky, right?)
Mini chocolate chips or chopped bittersweet chocolate (I chose option two)

Start out by draining the ricotta cheese. Drain, drain, drain! The trick is to let it dry out as much as you can. I read that you want it to sit overnight, but you know me, impatient! Use a paper towel and a strainer, or a cheesecloth, which would work better.

After about 15 minutes of no ricotta juice, I gave up on that idea and just piled it all onto a couple of paper towel squares and pressed the juice out. When the paper towels got moist, I replaced them.

This next step is optional, but I think it's a necessity. Melt yourself some chocolate.

Dip each and every sugar cone in the chocolate.

Sam said he thought that might be too much chocolate. I think he's crazy.


Mix the powdered sugar and ricotta together. Now add the little bits of chocolate to the concoction.

Fill a pastry bag or a ziploc bag with the cannoli filling. Now finish the job!

I popped these babies in the freezer to let the filling set. Just be careful not to leave them in too long. When you're ready to chow down, top it off with some whipped cream and enjoy!

Sam-a is-a enjoying his-a delicious-a cannoli, whilst our (creepy) friend Ryan is in the background. According to me, our dinner was a success! Now you go try the easiest cannoli you'll ever make, no baking or frying involved!

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