I was watching Andrew Zimmern’s TV Show “Delicious Destinations” in Sicily. What interested me the most were the unusual Cannoli he enjoyed in Sicily. They didn’t look anything like any other cannoli I’ve come across anywhere. They looked almost like Chocolate Tacos filled with the usual cream filling studded with chocolate chips and topped with candied orange peel. I remembered he said the secret to these cannoli was vinegar in the recipe. So here is my attempt to create something similar to what I saw on TV. I used my normal cannoli recipe ……that took a while to develop….and swapped out the water and wine for vinegar. I added 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa and an extra Tablespoon of sugar (because of the vinegar). The mixture got very dry so I then added just one teaspoon of water. As the mixture sat it got too wet……so I pinched off a dough ball and just dipped each dough ball in flour and kneaded like bread. If you make the candied orange peels you have to make them two days in advance because they take two days to dry. In my area they don’t sell good tasting ricotta cheese for the filling so I make a rich ricotta cheese. It takes about an hour to make. It’s simply a gallon of milk, a quart of heavy cream (this is a creamier version of what I normally do…usually I use a pint of heavy cream), a teaspoon of course sea salt. You SLOWLY bring to a slow boil. Into the boiling parts SLOWLY add the juice of two lemons till curds form and let it slowly boil a few minutes. I drain the cheese well with either paper towels lining a colander or if I’m in a big hurry I use a mesh strainer. I add 10x sugar and vanilla to taste for the filling. For regular cannoli I dust with 10x sugar. For Delicious Destinations Style Cannoli I used a mixture of unsweetened cocoa mixed with 10x sugar. It’s best to make the cannoli filling the day before because the sugar makes the vanilla filling wet and you will need to drain it.
Ingredients for about 13 servings
1 cup flour – plus extra for kneading and rolling
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter – room temperature
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 pinch course sea salt
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 egg white and 1/2 yolk separated (use yolk to seal cannoli)
1/4 cup cocoa
Optional 1 teaspoon water if dough seems too dry
oil to deep fry with – I used vegetable oil
2 oranges – for candied orange peels
2 cups sugar – for candied orange peels – plus extra to roll peels in
1 cup water – for candied orange peels
Add Oil to electric fryer and set it to 350 degrees F.
In a medium size bowl add flour, butter, sugar, salt, vinegar, 1/2 egg white, cocoa and mix well with a fork. If the mixture is too dry add up to a teaspoon of water. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for about a half hour.
If you’re making the candied orange peels use either a knife or a vegetable peeler and peel off the orange zest. Try not to get much of the white part because that white part is bitter. Boil the orange peels and you will see the water turn orange. Drain the water and REPEAT TWO MORE TIMES. After you boil the peels THREE TIMES. Simmer the peels again with one cup water and two cups sugar. Keep it simmering till the liquid looks slightly thicker. Pull the peels out and roll each peel in sugar and place on a pan covered with plastic wrap. Peels need two days to dry.
Either pinch off a marble size piece of dough or divide the dough into about 13 pieces. If the dough feels sticky dip the dough into flour and knead. Lightly flour your rolling pin and rolling mat or whatever you usually roll dough on. Roll it as thin as you can. Place in your taco frying holder and place in oil till it looks cooked. Remove cannoli shell on to a paper towel lined pan. Repeat till all the shells are done.
I like to powder the shells. The powder also helps to keep the shells crisp. For plain shells I powder with 10x sugar. These D.D. Sicily Inspired Chocolate Shells I powdered with a mix of Unsweetened Cocoa and 10x sugar. The shells get filled with a fresh made rich ricotta cheese. I added a splash of pure vanilla maybe two drops of natural anise extract and 10x sugar till it’s slightly sweet. The sugar will make the mixture turn wet so I put the mixture in a paper towel lined colander in the morning and changed the paper towel twice. Just before filling the shells I added slightly chopped chocolate chips. Each D.D. Sicily Inspired Cannoli gets topped with a candied orange peel.
Different! More flavors, notes and textures than my regular cannoli. I like the usual different look but they are a little harder to eat because of the unusual shape. If I make them next year I’d just try to make the taco shape smaller.
Your Place can be a DELICIOUS DESTINATION if you prepare these Forking Delicious Cannoli!