Cannoli are fantastic. Traditionally they’re bigger than mine and contain chunks of candied fruit, nuts and chocolate, but I wanted to go a bit more delicate, and ricotta is the filling hero here. It is helpful to buy some metal cannoli tubes, which you can get online – just squeeze them to 2cm in diameter before use.
|60ml||sweet wine or Marsala|
|250g||plain or Tipo 00 flour, plus extra for dusting|
|1 litre||sunflower oil, for frying|
|200g||dark chocolate (70%)|
|600g||quality ricotta cheese|
|1 tsp||vanilla bean paste|
|2 tbsp||runny honey|
|2 heaped tsp||quality cocoa powder|
You will need a food thermometer, metal cannoli tubes and a piping bag.
In a large bowl, whip 1 egg with the sweet wine and 3 tablespoons of oil. Gradually add the flour (you may not need it all) until it comes together into a ball of dough. Knead for a few minutes, or until smooth and silky. Wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest for 1 hour.
Pour the sunflower oil into a large, sturdy pan on a medium-high heat, and leave it to get to 180C on a thermometer. Meanwhile, roll the dough into a large sausage about 4cm in diameter. Keeping the rest of the dough covered with a clean damp tea towel, slice off a ½cm-thick disc and roll into a ball, then flatten out on a flour-dusted surface to 2mm thick. Lightly dust your metal cannoli tubes with flour (or use lightly oiled dried cannelloni tubes), then wrap a circle of dough around each, sealing the edges with beaten egg. Working in batches, carefully lower into the hot oil for just 1 minute, to get lightly golden. Remove to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain for 3 minutes, then squeeze the moulds and gently slide off the cannoli. Repeat until you’ve used up all the dough.
Melt the chocolate. Pound the hazelnuts in a pestle and mortar until fine. Drain the ricotta, then blitz in a food processor with the vanilla paste, honey, cocoa and grappa until just smooth. Spoon into a piping bag with a star nozzle, and twist the bag to give tension, then pipe the filling into the cannoli. Drizzle with chocolate, sprinkle with nuts, and serve.
Preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes, plus resting