Cannoli shell is a unique Italian pastry, which is said to have originated in Sicily. It is a tube like dessert, which consists of a crispy fried pastry shell, filled with sweetened ricotta cheese. Although traditionally these shells are filled with ricotta cheese, these days they are also filled with yellow or chocolate custard. These days you may also come across ice cream shops who serve cannoli shells filled with ice cream. The appeal of cannoli shells lies in their versatility, as they can be filled with almost anything and everything. The filling possibilities are endless, and they can be altered to suit the taste buds of your near and dear ones.
This one is a traditional and authentic recipe. It may seem to take a little long, however, the outcome is something which will force you to make it more often. After having tried a number of recipes, this is the best chocolate cannoli shell recipe according to me.
Ingredients for Shells
- Flour 2 cups
- Ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon
- Shortening 2 tablespoons
- Sugar 1 teaspoon
- Salt ¼ teaspoon
- Marsala ¾ cup
- Egg White 1
- Oil for frying
- Ricotta cheese 1 ½ pounds
- Confectioner's cugar ½ cup
- Chocolate chips ½ cup
- Vanilla 1½ teaspoon
- Citron ceel (chopped) 3 tablespoons
- Orange ceel (chopped) 3 tablespoons
- Combine flour, ground cinnamon, shortening, sugar, and salt together. You can also use shortening substitute if you do not want to use shortening.
- Then add wine to the flour and knead to make a hard dough.
- Make a ball from the dough and let it stand for an hour, covered.
- Divide the dough into half and roll half of the dough into a thin sheet.
- The thickness should be ¼ inch, then cut it into 4 inch oval shaped pieces.
- Place a metal tube diagonally across each of the oval lengthwise and wrap the ovals around the tube, by overlapping the 2 sides and seal the overlapping sides with egg white.
- While you are doing this, heat oil in a deep pan for frying.
- Gently slip the tubes into the hot oil and fry till the color of the dough changes to golden brown color.
- Remove from the pan and let the tubes cool for a little white. Then remove the metal tube and set the shells aside to cool down.
Making the Filling
- Sift the dry ingredients together and then mix them with ricotta cheese.
- Add vanilla and fruit peel to the mixture and mix well.
- Chill the mixture for 1 to 2 hours.
- Fill the cold shells with the fillings and sprinkle them with confectioner's sugar.
- Refrigerate till you are going to serve them.
For those people who do not like to have wine, this is a wonderful recipe. The wine will be substituted with white vinegar in this recipe. Let's see how to make it.
- Flour 3 cups
- Sugar ¼ cup
- Cinnamon 1 teaspoon
- Salt ¼ teaspoon
- Shortening 3 tablespoons
- Eggs (well beaten) 2
- White Vinegar 2 tablespoons
- Egg White (slightly beaten) 1
- Cold Water 2 tablespoons
- Vegetable Oil for frying
- In a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt together.
- In a blender cut shortening into pieces, about the size of peas.
- Stir in the eggs, vinegar, and cold water to the shortening and then add it to the dry mixture.
- Knead into a dough till smooth.
- Wrap the dough in a plastic sheet and place it in the refrigerator for half an hour.
- Roll out the dough and cut into oval shapes and wrap each of the ovals around a metal tube.
- Use egg white to brush the ends and fry them in hot oil.
- Once the shells turn brown remove them from the oil and let them cool completely.
- Remove them from the tube and fill them only about an hour before serving.
- You can choose to fill them with the filling of your choice.
These are some of the simple, yet the most preferred recipes. Cannoli shells can be baked instead of deep frying them.