Sunday, November 29, 2009

Daring Bakers: Cannoli

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.

I was really excited about this challenge. But time got away from me. I had house guests coming for Thanksgiving, and I wanted to make it while they were here. But then they were here, and I got busy with, well, Thanksgiving.






And a few other things I neglected to photograph. I eventually gave up the idea, because I wanted to spend time with my guests, not time in my kitchen. Though for the record, I did a lot of the baking mentioned above before they arrived.

I finally tackled this project today. I had the dough ready to go – one thing I did make while guests were here – and I mixed the ricotta filling last night. It was incredibly difficult to roll out. I’m guessing that’s because it was in the refrigerator for four days? I didn’t get them nearly as thin as I should have, but at this point I just wanted to be done with it.

I was unable to find cannoli forms anywhere within a 100-mile radius, so my friend Anita loaned me her two sets after she completed her challenge. (Thanks again, Nita!)

I wanted to photograph the frying process, but I was reluctant to take my attention away from the hot oil, so I refrained.

Because I used red wine in the dough, it was difficult to tell when they were browned, and I think I overcooked a few of them. I only lost about three – either they stuck to the form or I just accidentally broke them. Not bad, considering I made about 18.

They look nice. They taste good enough. I took a few to the neighbors, but still have a stack of them here staring at me, and a bowl of leftover ricotta filling. Any ideas what to do with that??

I doubt I’ll make these again. I really don’t enjoy frying things, and I don’t think their taste warranted all the work. I will admit they are pretty impressive looking, but I'm satisfied with my decision to spend time with close friends instead of pulling my hair out over cannoli.


  1. They are gorgeous! And same problem about the leftover ricotta filling: no idea what I'm going to do with that :)

  2. First off, your photography is the Thanksgiving preparation spread photos. Secondly, even though you weren't thrilled with deep frying, and had to bang these out pretty quickly, they turned out beautiful. I'm sorry you didn't flip over them, but just the fact that you went all out is awesome! Thanks for taking part in my challenge!

  3. They look so warty and blistered wonderful work and the filled cannoli looks superb yes I think you did the right thing better to have T-giving with friends 1st then do the challenge. Bravo! Cheers from Audax in Australia.

  4. Thank you :). I think it was just all bad timing on my part, lisamichele. I should have done them earlier in the month when I wasn't so tired and I could take more time with them. They do taste good, and I'm glad I can now say "I've made cannoli!"