One cannolo, Two cannoli. Why do we always refer to these treats as cannoli, and never a cannolo? Because it is impossible to eat only one of them. I just love these “little tubes” (See how you’re learning some Italian with me?). When I lived in Italy, I tried cannoli at basically every pastry shop I came across. These homemade Cannoli with Ricotta-Mascarpone Cream are still my favorite.
First thing first, if you want to make Cannoli with Ricotta-Mascarpone Cream at home you will need some cannoli forms like the ones pictured below. They’re available on Amazon for a reasonable price, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll put them to good use.
Once you’ve got your cannoli forms, you’re ready to start your cannoli shells. This may sound strange, but I can’t tell you how amazing the dough smells. The entire time I was kneading the dough, I was thinking how much I would like my kitchen to always smell like that. The combination of the cocoa, cinnamon, and Marsala is unspeakably delicious. (You may not really want to buy a bottle of Marsala wine just for this recipe, but go for it. I’ve got a great recipe for Chicken Marsala coming later this week to help you use it up.) You may feel like the 15 minutes of kneading seems unnecessary, but at the end of the 15 minutes, you’ll understand why. The dough gets incredibly silky smooth and elastic. (Consider yourself warned though, it starts out VERY sticky.)
Last, but not least, the filling. This recipe for the filling is delicious without being overly sweet or so rich that you can’t possibly have another. Some filling recipes are made with ricotta, others are sometimes made with mascarpone, and some are simply filled with a custard (less common). I found my favorite version to include equal parts of ricotta and mascarpone. Using both ricotta and mascarpone make the filling lighter and less dense than the super-rich mascarpone versions, but is still wonderfully creamy and decadent.
First thing my dad said when he heard I was making cannoli: “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” -The Godfather. Couldn’t have said it better myself.