Cannoli always remind me of my Mom. That has been one of our favorite desserts for as long as I remember; no actually since our days of going to the beach in Maryland when I was a child. On one special night, we would walk down the boardwalk in Ocean City to get our cannoli fix. It was something that we did every year and I think that this became our special dessert because we only got them one time per year. As time changed and the years passed, we quit going to Ocean City and so no more "Beach Cannoli" that we looked forward to every year.
Sometime in my early college years, I think I was a freshman, I came home for the summer and wanted to make my Mom cannoli for her birthday. I sprung this idea on my Dad and explained that I needed port wine for the recipe. At the time, I was not yet able to purchase alcohol. In his always silent, supportive way he headed off to the store to score our wine. Before I had left school, I had purchased a set of cannoli shell forms at a culinary shop at the local mall. When Dad got home, we started our task and what a task it was!!! We still reminisce about this and just shake our heads. For two people who are familiar with the kitchen and culinary techniques, we had a cannoli frying mess on our hands!!
I jumped right in and started the production but could not get the dough to stay on the form. As I dropped them in the hot oil, they would quickly unfold and bloom almost flower like and then puff up like a giant elephant ear. My Dad stepped in thinking that he could master the concept- Fail! We both stood there with oil popping out of the pan burning our arms and fingers and not sure what to do next....
To make an already long story short, that birthday my mom got a few cannoli that we salvaged toward the end of the production when we finally got the hang of it. The rest were turned into "cannoli shell chips" which we ate with the filling -chips and salsa style. And truthfully no matter the shape they tasted great!!!
This cupcake was inspired by my love for cannoli and thank the kitchen gods, it was much more simple than my original cannoli adventure.
|Ready... set... Go!|
|Ready for the oven in their pretty little ruffled papers.|
1 1/4 Cups flour
1 tsp baking powder1/8 tsp kosher salt
7 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 Cup sugar
2 Large eggs
2/3 Cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350 F.In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a mixer fit with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, stirring after each addition. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating it with the milk and mixing just until incorporated. Add the vanilla and combine.Divide the batter among 12 cupcake tins with paper liners. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting or decorating.To Freeze: Leave the cupcakes undecorated. Place the plain cupcakes in a large resealable plastic bag. Store for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature, about 40 minutes.
Recipe from Real Simple Magazine April 2006
|Use the cone method to remove a core which you will fill with ricotta filling|
Ricotta Filling15 oz ricotta cheese, drained
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 2/3 Cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp grated orange zest
Line a strainer with cheesecloth. Place the ricotta in the strainer over a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Weight it down with a heavy can, and let the ricotta drain in the refrigerator for several hours to overnight. In a bowl with electric mixer, beat ricotta until smooth and creamy. Beat in confectioners' sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla, and blend until smooth. Transfer to another bowl, and stir in zest. Chill until firm. (The filling can be made up to 24 hours prior to filling the shells. Just cover and keep refrigerated.)
|Dipped in ganache and filled with ricotta filling|
Chocolate ganache1/4 Cup heavy cream
1/4 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2 pieces
Heat the heavy cream and the butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil.
Place the semisweet chocolate in a stainless steel bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth.
Decorator Icing1/2 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/4 cups Crisco
2 lb bag of confectioner's sugar
Place all in electric mixer and mix until combined. At this point, whip until light and fluffy. This should take about 5 minute on high speed. This icing can be used immediately. It is best if after you put the icing on the cake that it is not covered completely. It can become oily if covered. Any extra can be stored in an air tight container and remixed when you are ready to use it.
|The finished project- Delicioso!|
To assemble the cupcakes:Using a piping bag, fill the cupcakes with the ricotta filling. You will want to be quick with this step because the filling gets very runny in a warm kitchen. If needed, put in fridge to firm up the filling before adding the icing. With a piping bag, frost with decorator icing. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. Due to the ricotta, keep the cupcakes in the refrigerator. Take out of refrigerator 30 minute before serving.
|The tangy orange ricotta filling|