Whether you’re gluten-sensitive, gluten-intolerant or just looking to decrease the amount of gluten you eat, Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle (Ten Speed Press, 2013) is your answer. Kyra Bussanich puts a delicious spin on gluten-free baking. The following Cannolizelli recipe will bring a little taste of Italy into the kitchen.
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When I was a child, our Christmas Day tradition was making cannoli. My dad grew up in the Bronx and was enamored with Ferraro’s Cannoli, a landmark in Little Italy. He had figured out a really great approximation of their recipe, so every year we would carefully stir together the ricotta, confectioners’ sugar, spices, and rum, spoon the cannoli filling into the crispy flour tortilla shells, and dust the whole thing with confectioners’ sugar. Then we would pile the cannoli on paper plates and deliver them to our friends and neighbors. Nowadays, I make cannoli in a gluten-free shell. Here’s how.
• 3 egg whites
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/3 cup butter, melted
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup sweet white rice flour
• 1/4 cup tapioca starch
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
• 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting
• 1/4 cup heavy cream
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
• 1 1/2 teaspoons rum
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
• 1/4 cup toasted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
1. To make the shells, using a stand mixer with a whip attachment, whip the egg whites and sugar until very thick and pale and fluffy. Then whip in the butter and vanilla. In a small bowl, combine the flour, starch, and baking powder. Sprinkle into the egg white mixture and blend well.
2. Drop by small spoonfuls onto a heated, greased Pizelle iron. Close the lid and cook 30 to 45 seconds, until no more steam is escaping and the shell is golden brown. Open the lid and immediately shape the shells around a cannoli tube form or a sanitized broom handle. Be careful because the cannoli will be superhot coming off the iron. I use a fork and then drape the shell around the cannoli form. Let the shells cool on the form before sliding them off. It’s helpful to have 4 or 5 cannoli forms so you can continue to bake while the previous batch is cooling.
3. To make the filling, mix together the ricotta, confectioners’ sugar, cream, cinnamon, orange zest, rum, and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and pistachio nuts.
4. Right before serving, fill a pastry bag with the filling (or use a zip-top bag with a corner snipped off) and gently squeeze the filling into each end of the shells. If you fill them too early, the shells will soften and may break. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.
5. You can make most of this ahead of time and assemble at the last minute: freeze the baked shells in an airtight container and refrigerate the filling until just before you’re planning to serve. If you want to assemble them ahead of time, melt together 1/2 cup of semisweet or dark chocolate and 1 1/2 teaspoons of butter and use a small pastry brush to gently paint the inside of the shells with the mixture. This acts as a barrier to the moisture, and also adds more chocolate flavor! Makes about 18 Cannolizelli.
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Reprinted with permission from Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle by Kyra Bussanich (Ten Speed Press, © 2013). Photo Credit: Leela Cyd. Purchase this book from our store: Sweet Cravings.