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Monday, April 25, 2011

Cannoli Filling

 I used to help my Mom in the kitchen as a small child ~mostly just being a tester~ and have a very clear memory of helping her make cannoli around Easter time. She made her own shells--about 50 at one time-- and then made a simple ricotta filling which she kept in the fridge in a large pastry bag then she would fill the shells as we asked for them.What a memory -instant-homemade-cannoli!
My Mama and me...always in the kitchen!

In Italy they only use ricotta, sugar, and vanilla...that's it...but our ricotta cheese is just not the same as theirs and if you drain it too much it becomes dry but if not dried enough will run out the shells just as soon as you fill them. All the cannoli I've had in bakeries or restaurants  here in the south combat this runniness by using a little cream cheese in the filling which I hate... too tangy.
 Then I thought I would add some marscarpone...kind of like cream cheese but without the tang....voila! So here is my new cannoli filling recipe!
Ingredients (For 30 regular shells plus left overs: See my Shell Recipe HERE!)
Two 15 ounce containers whole milk fresh ricotta cheese (strained in fridge over coffee filters and a strainer) In my little part of the south I have found that Trader Joes has the best Fresh Ricotta.
8 ounces mascarpone cheese softened by placing out for an hour
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup mini chocolate chips or regular chips chopped fine for filling and ends
zest of 1 orange and or lemon for filling
chopped toasted almonds for ends
maraschino cherries for the ends
powdered sugar to sprinkle on top

Place this ricotta in a paper towel or coffee filter lined colander (place some towels on top as well) in a bowl in the fridge for over night.
Remove paper towels and press on the cheese with fresh paper towels to drain of any excess moisture.
Now mix the mascarpone with a hand mixer until soft and creamy. Add ricotta along with the sugar and vanilla and stir just until combined preferably by hand. Add the optionals if using any and gently stir.
Place this into a large baggy, cut the tip, and pipe into the shells at both ends.
Add a more chocolate chips, pistachio crumbs, and a cherry to both ends sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!
Notes: Fill just before eating or else they become soggy.

1 comment:

Jessi said...

Ooh those look good!