Plated Dessert: Project Cannoli
In this episode, I make cannoli. From scratch. Buckle up, it’s going to be a fun ride!
First, Chef Adrian helped me make ricotta. This is process where you boil milk and cream with some salt, and then add acid (lemon juice) to help the milk protein coagulate.
Here I’m draining the ricotta curds through a cheese cloth and strainer. Ricotta can be made into a soft or firm cheese. We are aiming for a softer version, so we don’t squeeze it too much.
Close up of the ricotta.
This one is kind of dark, but it’s the ricotta hanging and draining in one of the walk-ins. We ended up squeezing it a little bit since there was too much liquid in it.
After one night, this is what the ricotta looks like. It tastes very fresh and creamy, and slightly sweet.
Next, it’s time to make the cannoli shells. I roll out the dough in batches, and then cut out circles with a ring cutter.
I wrap the circles around these cylinders, which are made specifically for cannoli shells. This way, once I put them in the fryer, they won’t lose their shape.
Here’s my first batch. As you can see, some of them came undone and opened up during the frying process. More snacks for me! The others came out all right.
I gather the shells in a plastic container, and start making the filling for the cannoli.
I’ve assembled all the ingredients. There’s ricotta, orange zest, lemon zest, powdered sugar, shaved chocolate, and crushed pistachios.
Filling my first cannoli. I feel so Italian-American right now.
I dip them in pistachios and some others in the chocolate shavings.
And this is what they look like on a plate. Some creme anglaise and pistachio sprinkle.
This is my favorite project of the class – except working with chocolate. It was so much fun to make everything from scratch. I had never made ricotta and cannoli before, so it was a great experience.