Sunday 9 December 2012

Cannoli with Crema di Pasticceria

Given that the festive season is upon us, I thought I would share a little family classic. This is the kind of food we have at parties and celebrations and Christmas. Cannoli are a Sicilian pastry dessert, cannoli essentially means little tubes, traditionally they are filled with ricotta cream or another kind of sweet pasty cream/custard which I will show you below. Now I normally love making everything from scratch, but given these tiny tubes are consumed in seconds but are time-consuming to make, I always buy the shells and then fill them myself. I know shells are readily available in Australia from a good continental deli, but finding them in the UK has been seemingly difficult. I ended up purchasing my shells from my local Antonio Carluccio restaurant for a staggering £12 which is about $20AUD for 24 small shells, but it was all worth it, they disappeared in minutes. So here is my recipe for Cannoli Crema di Pasticceria.

These were the only cannoli shells I could find!

Crema di Pasticceria (fills 24 cannoli shells)

1/3 cup cornflour
1/3 cup of custard powder
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or essence
300ml cream
1 egg yolk (beaten)
2 tbls of liquor (only if you like)

(150g of mixed dark/milk cooking chocolate for half the mixture to be chocolate flavoured)

1. Sift cornflour, custard powder, and caster sugar into a pot and stir to combine.

2. Gradually add milk and whisk until smooth and free from lumps.

3. Add vanilla bean and cream and continue whisking until combined.

4. Turn heat on. Whisk over a low heat until mixture begins to thicken and simmer.

5. Remove pot from heat and allow to cool slighly before adding the beaten egg yolk. Mix well.

6. Separate mixture evenly into two bowls.

7. Pour in melted chocolate into one of the bowls to make a chocolate version of the crema di pasticceria.

8. Cover bowls with cling film and refrigerate either over night or for several hours. Don't worry if mixture is slightly lumpy at this point.

9. Remove from fridge and place mixture into an electric mixing bowl and beat for a few minutes. This will remove any lumps from the cream and will make the mixture smooth and easy to pipe.

10. Fill piping bag up with mixture and pipe vanilla through one side and chocolate on the other. This means you get the best of both in one tiny tube. (Note: It is best to pipe the mixture as close as possible to serving so cannoli shells are still crispy)

11. Once piped, sift icing sugar on top for serving. Enjoy!

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