Italian Cannoli with Vanilla and Chocolate Ricotta Recipe

Italian Cannoli with Vanilla and Chocolate Ricotta Recipe

Speak to any Sicilian about cannoli and they'll fall into a trance-like state at the mention of crispy pastry filled with soft creamy ricotta. Cannoli are light and creamy, not too sweet, and have the perfect balance of crunch, creaminess and indulgence, so great to eat at just about any time of the day.

Cannoli shells are made by frying tube-shaped pastry which is a bit of a faff. For convenience we sell ready-made cannoli shells, so you can 'quite literally' whip up these delicious treats in no time at all. The filling is made with a base of sheep or cow's milk ricotta, beaten with a little vanilla and sweetened with sugar. From this point, you can add any number of your favourite ingredients - chocolate, pistachios, hazelnuts, lemon, orange, cinnamon, and fresh or candied fruits. Ours were delicious served with strawberries on the side.

Some foodie advice on ricotta.... no self respecting Italian would make cannoli with anything other than sheep's milk ricotta. The flavour is much richer and creamier than the cow's version and it's really worth the extra cost. Another important little tip when making cannoli is to drain your ricotta in a colander, you want to get rid of any excess liquid that will make your filling too sloppy. Try to drain it for at least half an hour or better still, overnight in the fridge.

Ingredients to make 10 Cannoli
500g sheep's milk ricotta or cow's milk ricotta
100g Icing Sugar
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
1 tablespoon honey
40g chocolate chips, your choice of milk or dark (I prefer dark)
10 ready-made cannoli shells
A little more icing sugar for dusting

1. Remove the ricotta from the tub and place it in a colander to drain as much liquid as possible. Try to leave it for half an hour if possible or anything up to over-night in the fridge.

2. Once the ricotta has drained, tip it into a bowl and mix in the icing sugar, vanilla seeds, honey and most of the chocolate chips (reserving some for garnish at the end).

3. Scoop the mixture into a piping bag and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill and firm up.

4. When you're ready to fill the cannoli, pipe the ricotta mixture into both ends of the shells.

5. Crush or coarsely blitz the remaining chocolate chips and use to decorate the ends of each cannoli. Dust with icing sugar and serve to your lucky guests, or just eat the lot yourself! 

Enjoy - don't forget to tag us in your social posts and leave a review for this recipe below! 

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