“Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” This is not a post about the convergence of pastry, violence and classic cinematography, but that might be a good idea for later. It should go without saying that the preceding quote is not only from The Godfather, but also one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies, You’ve Got Mail, a fantastic book by Sarah Vowell, and encompasses the love we feel towards this Sicilian pastry.
A crunchy shell. A creamy center. A rich chocolate punctuated with salty pistachios. Cannoli is a fantastic portable dessert that fires on all cylinders.
When contemplating making cannoli at home, the thought of constructing those shells didn’t sit well, and to be honest, their flavor is a little bland for me. That’s why this recipe, from Food Network Magazine, is genius. Replace that so-so shell with a fantastic sugar cone, and voila, simple perfection.
I loved that this recipe included orange zest, so I chose to change the ingredients slightly, to include Grand Marnier. This orange liqueur is the perfect compliment to these flavors, but feel free to leave it out.
When making these again, I think I’ll dip the cone in chocolate for an special extra touch, and make my own ricotta.
This is a great treat for a picnic, or easy dinner. I struggle with simple, but this is simple done right. Enjoy!
1 1/4 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 c cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 c confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 t almond extract
1 t orange zest, finely grated
1-2 tbl Grand Marnier
1/3 c bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 sugar ice cream cones
2 tbl pistachios, finely chopped
Put the ricotta in a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Refrigerate 30 minutes to drain.
Transfer the ricotta to a large bowl. Add the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, orange zest, and Grand Marnier and beat with a mixer until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Fold in 3 tbl chopped chocolate.
Cover and refrigerate until thick and cold, at least 1 hour.
Scoop mixture into cones. Gently press the remaining chocolate and the pistachios into the ricotta mixture.
Dust the cones with confectioners’ sugar.
You can fill the cones up to 4 hours in advance, cover and refrigerate, then dust with sugar just before serving.