Chef's Recipes

Roasted white chocolate and ricotta cannoli

The nutty taste of roasted white chocolate brings a whole new element to these sweet Italian pastries.

By Jaclyn Koludrovic
  • Serves 30
  • 1 hr 15 mins preparation
  • 1 hr cooking plus resting, cooling
Roasted white chocolate and ricotta cannoli

"I often play around with cannoli and crostoli doughs," says Jaclyn Koludrovic. "I love their versatility, always producing a satisfyingly crisp, flaky finish when fried. Here, I've given the traditional ricotta filling a caramel-lover's twist and added roasted white chocolate and rosemary. Choose a good Marsala or grappa for the dough – it'll result in a noticeably nicer finished product."

Start this recipe a day ahead to rest the dough.

Ingredients

  • 300 gm white couverture chocolate, finely chopped
  • Pure icing sugar, for dusting
Cannoli dough
  • 335 gm plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 80 gm softened butter
  • 1 egg, plus 1 extra beaten for eggwash
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 100 ml Marsala or grappa
  • Canola oil for deep-frying
Ricotta mousse
  • 250 gm drained ricotta
  • 100 ml pouring cream
  • 50 ml milk
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves only
  • 15 gm honey
  • Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla bean
  • 1 titanium-strength gelatine leaf, softened in cold water for 5 minutes

Method

  • 1
    For cannoli dough, rub flour, butter and a pinch of salt together in a bowl with your fingers until fine crumbs form. Transfer to an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add egg, yolks and Marsala, and knead to just bring together. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate to rest (overnight).
  • 2
    Divide dough in half. Dusting with flour as you go and being careful not to stretch dough, roll each half through a pasta machine, starting at the widest setting, and continuing to roll, reducing settings notch by notch, until 1mm to 1.5mm thick. Place sheets of dough on a tray with baking paper between each, cover with a tea towel and refrigerate to firm up (30 minutes).
  • 3
    Preheat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 170°C. Cut out about 30 cone-shaped pieces of pastry with rounded tops (use a 9cm cookie cutter to imprint a rounded edge into pastry, then a knife to cut a triangle base below). Starting from the rounded ends, wrap each piece of pastry around well-oiled cannoli moulds leaving the pointed end loose. Brush joining points with egg and press to seal (it's important that no egg touches the cannoli mould or it will stick). Fry cannoli in batches until golden and bubbled (1-2 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Carefully drain, then holding cannoli with a tea towel, carefully twist them from the cannoli tubes while warm. Keep on paper towels until needed (see note).
  • 4
    Preheat oven to 120°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Spread chocolate over tray in an even layer and roast, stirring occasionally until melted, golden and caramelised (25-35 minutes). Cool, then finely chop.
  • 5
    For ricotta mousse, bring milk, rind, rosemary, honey and vanilla to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat, squeeze excess moisture from gelatine, add to pan and stir to dissolve. Cool to room temperature (10 minutes). Process ricotta in a food processor or whisk it until smooth, and whisk cream to soft peaks in a bowl. When milk mixture is cooled, strain it over ricotta and pulse to combine. Fold whipped cream and 200gm roasted white chocolate into ricotta mixture, then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a wide, plain nozzle.
  • 6
    Pipe mousse into both ends of cannoli, sprinkle ends with remaining roasted white chocolate and dust with icing sugar to serve. Filled cannoli will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 days.

Notes

This recipe makes about 30 cannoli, but you could use half the dough and freeze the rest for up to three months. If you're only using half the dough, simply halve the quantities for the filling. Cannoli shells can also be frozen after frying; just heat the empty shells in the oven for a few minutes before using to make them crisp again.

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  • Author: Jaclyn Koludrovic