If you’re a fan of Italian desserts, then you’ll definitely want to try this recipe for Italian Cream Stuffed Cannoncini. These delicate pastry tubes are filled with a rich and creamy filling made with ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese, and whipped cream. The pastry shell is crisp and flaky, providing the perfect contrast to the smooth filling. And with just a few simple ingredients, you can easily make these at home and impress your guests with a delicious and sophisticated dessert.
Ingredients: For the pastry shells:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
For the cream filling:
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the butter and mix with a pastry cutter or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add the water, a little at a time, until the dough comes together in a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut the dough into long strips about 1 inch wide and 8 inches long.
- Wrap each strip around a metal cannoli tube, sealing the edge with a bit of water.
- Place the tubes on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat the ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.
- Spoon the cream filling into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.
- Gently remove the cannoli tubes from the shells and discard.
- Fill the pastry shells with the cream filling, starting from one end and working your way to the other.
- Serve immediately, garnished with powdered sugar or chocolate shavings, if desired.
- To ensure the pastry shells are crisp and flaky, be sure to roll the dough out to the correct thickness and wrap it tightly around the cannoli tubes.
- If you don’t have metal cannoli tubes, you can use wooden dowels or even thick straws as a substitute.
- For added flavor, you can add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to the cream filling.
- These cannoli can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- For a chocolate twist, add 1/4 cup cocoa powder to the pastry dough and/or the cream filling.
- You can also add chopped nuts, such as pistachios or almonds, to the cream filling for added texture and flavor.
- For a fruity version, mix in 1/4 cup of your favorite fruit jam or preserve into the cream filling.
Conclusion: Italian Cream Stuffed Cannoncini may seem like a difficult dessert to make, but with a little practice, you can easily create a delicious and impressive pastry that will wow your guests. Whether you choose to stick with the classic recipe or add your own unique twist, these cannoli are sure to become a favorite in your dessert repertoire.
Tips for success:
- Use chilled butter and cold water when making the pastry dough. This will help create a flaky and tender shell.
- Don’t overfill the pastry shells with the cream filling. Start with a small amount and add more as needed.
- To prevent the pastry shells from sticking to the tubes, lightly grease them with cooking spray or butter before wrapping the dough around them.
- For an extra crispy shell, brush the pastry shells with an egg wash before baking.
- Be patient when removing the cannoli tubes from the shells. Gently wiggle and twist the tubes to loosen them, being careful not to break the shells.
- Let the filled cannoli chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This will allow the filling to set and the flavors to meld together.
- Lemon cream filling – add the zest of one lemon and a tablespoon of lemon juice to the cream filling for a bright and tangy twist.
- Nutella filling – mix in a few tablespoons of Nutella to the cream filling for a rich and chocolatey flavor.
- Savory filling – skip the sugar and vanilla extract in the cream filling and instead mix in herbs, garlic, and your favorite cheese for a savory twist on the classic dessert.
- Pistachio filling – add a tablespoon of pistachio paste or ground pistachios to the cream filling for a nutty and unique flavor.
Italian Cream Stuffed Cannoncini is a delightful dessert that is sure to impress your guests. With a crispy pastry shell and a creamy filling, it’s the perfect combination of textures and flavors. And with the tips and variations provided, you can easily customize this recipe to your liking. So why not try making these at home and bring a taste of Italy to your next gathering?