Seriously. Cannoli AND cream puffs together at once? Does it get any better? These are two of my all time favorite desserts combined into one unbelievably decadent dessert. You’ll lose all self control with these things. Anytime I make cannoli anything I have the hardest time limiting myself. When it comes to cannoli, it’s almost as if there can be no limits. The heavenly sweetened ricotta, combined with the irresistibly creamy mascarpone makes for a filling like none other. It’s so simple yet so complexly enticing.
Yes, you can make these like your grandma made her cannoli filling and add orange zest to it if you’d like, but for me personally there’s no diminishing the lavish flavors of that sweet mascarpone combined with the ever so lightly salty, ricotta cheese.
Call them profiteroles or call them cream puffs, refer to it as a pâte à choux or refer to it as a pastry dough. Names don’t matter here people. It’s all about the flavor. It’s about the hint of cocoa and cinnamon swirled throughout a traditional cream puff shell, then it’s filling of the most insanely irresistible and creamy cannoli cream (yeah when I have a spoon and there’s cannoli cream like this around – things get crazy. It’s basically like eating ice cream right? So why night enjoy a few spoonfuls?).
It’s true that you may just think of these as one of the best desserts you’ve ever had. I know I loved them just that much. Enjoy!
Cannoli Cream Puffs
Yield: About 30
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (5 3/4 oz)
- 3/4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter , diced into 1 tbsp pieces
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup eggs , about 4 whole large eggs and 2 egg whites
- Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate
- Chopped , unsalted pistachios
- Powdered sugar , for dusting
Cannoli Cream Filling
- 24 oz . whole milk ricotta , strained*
- 16 oz . mascarpone
- 1 cup powdered sugar
For the Cannoli Cream Filling:
In a mixing bowl, using a rubber or silicone spatula, blend together ricotta and mascarpone cheese while running and pressing mixture along bottom of bowl to remove any lumps. Fold in powdered sugar. Cover and chill 30 minutes (or until ready to use).
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and cinnamon, set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine water, milk, butter, sugar and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to melt butter and dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to low, add flour mixture all at once and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until mixture forms ball, about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to the bowl of an electric stand mixer and let cool, 3 minutes.
Using the paddle attachment, and with mixer set on low speed, beat eggs into dough one at a time (dough will separate after each egg is added, then it will slowly come together and become smooth). Transfer mixture to a large piping bag fitted with a round tip. Immediately pipe onto rounds, approximately 1 1/4-inches each, and spacing them 2-inches apart.
Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 375 and continue to cook 10 minutes longer, then turn oven off and allow to rest in warm oven 10 minute longer, or until they sound hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and pierce with a small knife to release steam. Cool completely on a wire rack then cut each in half. Pipe or spoon in cannoli cream filling. Sprinkle chocolate chips or chopped pistachios around edges of cream filling (I preferred mine with both). Dust with powdered sugar and for best results serve within 1 hour of filling.
*To strain mine, working in two batches, I placed the ricotta over several layers of paper towels then added more paper towels and squeezed some of the excess moisture out (you can do this twice if needed, you want to have some moisture but not a lot. Once the powdered sugar is added it makes it a bit runnier).
Just wanted to share a random photo today. I just loved how beautiful this rose was so I had to take a few photos. Somehow it ties into this post – I mean because roses and cannoli are both beautiful things right :)? I know I’m a total amateur and it’s not professional but I wanted to name it anyway – I’ve called it “With Grace” because even though it was cut from it’s branch and dying, it was still dying with grace. It was still gorgeous and standing tall. I feel it’s important do things with grace. Though I totally suck at it most of the time (see “totally suck” is so ungraceful), it’s just a nice ambition :).