Except this month we're the Daring Fryers! I missed the challenge deadline by a day, but better late than never, right? Who sets a deadline for the day after Thanksgiving anyway? I was still recovering from cooking, eating, and baking two of these!
So this was my rush job. I rarely deep-fry, but you might not believe me if you saw the applesauce doughnuts I made earlier this month. Making the cannoli was easy except for the rolling -- the dough has a knack for springing back so the square never seemed to get bigger. But the shells came out crispy and delicious, and I flavored the ricotta filling with vanilla bean and some maple syrup, for that touch of autumn. A lot of people aren't familiar with cannoli, which used to stun me. I grew up in an Italian neighborhood where they were readily available, but when I moved to other states people would ask, "Is that like ravioli?" If you're one of these people, don't get put off by the strange concept of filling deep-fried pastry with cheese. It whips up light and is so good when sweetened.
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 by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book.
Draining the ricotta
See the pretty flecks of vanilla bean?
Wrapped around molds and ready to be fried.
Can't really see them in there.
Golden and blistery.
Fill them with the ricotta cream, and roll in nuts or chocolate if you like. Or finish with a dusting of powdered sugar.