Christmas is only 28 days away!
Sorry for the irreverent intro, and yes, that is supposed to look like Batman. I’ve already had the following conversation:
MC Senior: What is that?
Shaz: That’s Batman. Does he look like Batman?
MC Senior: Um, I don’t want to offend you or anything but….NO.
Maybe if you squint your eyes a little, you know like those magic 3D images?
Anyways, let me just say that:
The November 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. She chose the Italian Pastry, Cannolo (Cannoli is plural), using the cookbooks Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book.
And what a recipe!. I can honestly say I did not have a single issue with this month’s challenge. Except the issue of finding time to actually do it. But the dough was actually pretty quickly knocked together (I made half the quantity by hand) and the deep frying part was ultra quick too.
I omitted the cocoa powder called for in the recipe because I felt like it, and I forgot to add the sugar, but these steps didn’t seem to affect the results at all. The recipe also asked for marsala wine, or failing that, grape juice, but I still had bottles of pomegranate juice in the fridge (a gift from POM wonderful) so used that instead.
Having the right equipment helped enormously though. The pasta machine and I were reacquainted and worked together to roll out the dough very thinly. The trusty wok was the perfect deep –frying vessel.
Italian pastry cooked in Chinese implement by ex-Malaysian in Australia. How multicultural is that?
What I did lack were cannoli forms (moulds for making cannoli). Alternatives suggested in the Daring forums included clean broom or wooden spoon handles or cream horn moulds. Then Eve.eire put up photos of how she made cannoli forms out of disposable foil baking dishes. Aha! With the theme to McGyver playing in my head, I fashioned many, many cones out of plain ole aluminium foil. They worked fantastically!
Didn’t have much time to fool around with fillings so I made a very simple mascarpone filling (recipe below) studded with festive red glace cherries and pistachios. Freeze the leftover filling and you get Cannoli ice-cream!
Thank you Lisa for such a fun and very tasty challenge!For more elegant versions of cannoli, do visit the other Daring Bakers.
Mascarpone Cream Filling
(I threw this together but I think I may have been inpsired by Mr. Oliver at some point in time).
1/2 cup pure cream
Scant 1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 tbsp icing sugar
few drops orange blossom water
diced glace cherries and chopped pistachios to stir through.
Lightly whip the cream until the beater trails show. Stir the mascarpone with the icing sugar and orange blossom water until smooth, then gently whip it into the cream until well blended. Be careful not to overbeat. Fold through the cherries and pistachios.
Oh yes, the Cannoli angels heads were made by sticking a tootpick into a craisin (dried cranberry), then dipping it in white chocolate and drying it upside down on some baking paper so the chocolate would pool and form a halo. Stick the toothpick head into cone opening.
Have a great weekend! (Do stop by on Sunday if you have the time – not telling why yet ☺)