On a day trip to a big theme park yesterday, the first thing shoved in Kid’s face (not by me, mind) is a giant ice -cream ‘cone’.
Remember when it was fancy to get a waffle cone?
Not so fancy anymore apparently. Kid’s cone was made purely of chocolate and then covered in hundreds and thousands.
Outstanding. But where’s the pastry?
As a 20 something, just qualified chef (not THAT long ago) backpacking around Europe, I have great memories of Sicily. The long clickety train ride down from Venice, eruptions on Mt Etna, the seafood in Giardini, the desert terrain and beautiful coast line.
And the Cannoli. Now there’s some serious pastry!
Melt the chocolate in the microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring each time. Gently fold the honey through the mascarpone, fold in the whipped cream, then the melted chocolate and chopped nuts. Set in the fridge for an hour before piping into your cannoli shells.
Stuff your face. The flavours might remind you of a particular triangle shaped chocolate bar.
This is no accident.
FYI – It is easiest to pipe the filling from both ends into the middle.
To get a bit fancy you can dip the shells in melted chocolate before you fill them (cover in hundreds and thousands?) Leave it partly chocolate free so you can pick them up easily.
Shells can be bought from deli’s and specialty shops.
Or if you have time and want a fun school holiday project,
you can make your own with the recipe below.
As with a lot of things, the best cannoli are the cannoli you make yourself. Even if the shop ones are better. Traditionally a sweetened ricotta filling features in cannoli, but we love chocolate.
CANNOLI SHELLS – makes about 30 small
*Oil for frying – loads of recipes call for shortening here, I’m not a big fan so canola will do.
Combine all ingredients bar the liquid with a machine of some sort until crumbly. Add the liquids slowly and then mix to a dough. A good amount of kneading is necessary to get it smooth and elastic. Let sit for 30 mins before using.Tubes – alfoil seems to be the best way without investing in solid tubes. I’ve heard of people using dowel, bamboo and one guy whose Nonna would cut up an old broom handle. Wrap the foil around something solid (we used a marker pen) to form tubes about 10cm long. You’ll need a few layers for strength.
Heat some oil about 1 cm deep in a pan. Be careful with this much hot oil and kids around. You can never get complacent. Be sure it’s at the back of the stove with no handles protruding and that nothing can fall in and splash.Roll the pastry on a lightly floured bench or use a pasta machine until almost paper thin. They won’t cook properly otherwise as we found out. But we just put the circles back through the pasta machine.
Cut out circles about 10cm in diameter. Size is up to you really.
Wrap a circle around a tube and press together to seal the ends.
Fry until golden, they don’t take long (just a couple of minutes) and, unless you want to deep fry, you’ll need to turn them to brown evenly. Keep them join side down as much as possible. Cool on some paper towel and remove the tubes ready for filling.
Like us you might burn a couple and break a couple but it’s all part of the fun.