This is my first time doing a 'Daring Baker's Challenge' and I'm super excited and pleased. This month Lisa Michele chose - Italian Cannolis. At first I was quite apprehensive because I hate anything deep fried (at home). I find it to be a ridiculous waste of oil, and calories. Plus I didn't have Cannoli steel forms. On top of that my hubby hates ricotta, and what else is left in cannolis?
Buttttt, I got super excited when I saw that I could actually bake the Cannoli shells instead of frying them AND I could choose whatever filling I'd like. This got me quite motivated.
So here are the results -- Baked Cannoli shells with Ricotta, Marionberry filling with minced walnut pieces. It was AWESOME! The best part was I didn't tell my hubby that it was ricotta and he loved it. Turns out he doesn't like the saltier version of ricotta but he loves the fresh cream types, which is the better more pure version of the two anyway In the end it made to be a great dessert for two
So I'm sure you're wondering what the heck this is. But this is the story behind it. Normally Cannoli shapes are created with Cannoli pipes, which are a bit expensive and serves one purpose only. After my apprehension above, you might see why I would be hesitant to buy more equipment for this dish. One of the Daring Kitchen member's suggestion was to use old/unused wooden batons or something similar, cut to size and use that instead. Thank you for the suggestion!
Since I had Zero old wooden ladles, I chose my thickest ones. Now obviously whenever we do wooden skewers on the grill, you pre-soak em' so that they don't burn the place down but if I did that, the dough would have all this extra steaming?
Now the baking of these, calls for 500F for 10 mins. I KNEW that means the whole place would burn down if I used non-soaked wood in the oven. I then came up with this instead; I used these at 450F for 5 mins, just enough to crisp the shells into its shape. I then very tenderly removed them away from the ladles and put them back in the oven in its new shape. IT WORKED! and no fire
After the cannoli baking, I made the filling with Ricotta cheese, Marionberry jam (something Oregon is famous for) along with diced pieces of Walnuts; sprinkled with sea salt. Yummy!
On the right a pic of the final baked Cannoli shells
Lesson learnt -
Don't give up, there are always solutions to superficial problems. THANK YOU LISA for helping me realize the potential in alternatives