Get creative in the kitchen these holidays and impress your guests with a batch of Rosa Matto's fabulously festive and authentic Christmas cannoli.
Recipe: Christmas cannoli with glacé oranges
Christmas cannoli with glacé oranges
Makes 20 shells*
180g plain flour, sifted
30g caster sugar
1 tbsp grappa or vodka
30g very soft butter
finely chopped zest and strained juice of one orange
up to 100ml water, to be added as needed
1 egg white, beaten
In a food processor, mix together the plain flour, sugar, grappa, butter, zest and juice until combined. Very gradually add the water to make a soft, but workable, dry dough.
Break off small pieces of dough and put them through a pasta machine 6-7 times on “impasto” mode (this is the widest setting on the machine). This is the kneading phase. Try to get your piece of dough to be the same width as the rollers on the machine. Now stretch each piece through the rollers, going through each setting only once. Take the dough through to the penultimate setting for a delicate, crisp shell.
Put the sheets of dough on a floured board, cut out 10cm circles and wrap them around a cannolo mould.
Carefully brush a small amount of egg white onto the edge of the top layer to seal the circles.
Heat the sunflower oil to about 180C and deep fry until golden. Line a deep-sided baking tray with paper towel. Drain each cannolo on the paper towel, balancing the cannolo on the edge of the tray to drain off any oil inside. While still hot, carefully twist the shell off the metal using a dry tea towel to protect your hands. Leave to cool.
300g ricotta, smoothed out by pushing through a sieve
60g caster sugar
30g coarsely grated chocolate
zest of one orange
½ glazed orange, cut into very fine dice
30g pistachios, shelled and chopped
Combine ricotta, sugar, chocolate, zest, the diced glazed orange and pistachios. Taste for desired sweetness and adjust if necessary.
To assemble: put filling into a piping bag with a wide, smooth nozzle and pipe into both ends of the shells. Do not fill until just before serving as the delicate shells will go soft.
½ glacé orange, cut into fine dice
1 extra glacé orange, cut into slivers
sieved icing sugar
Dip each end of the filled cannoli into the diced glacé orange and garnish with the sliver of orange. Dust with icing sugar.
*Cannoli shells can be made up to two weeks in advance and stored in an airtight container. You can buy ready-cooked shells in some Italian style delicatessens but they are quite thick, nothing like the delicate homemade shells. You will need to buy cannoli moulds or cut 3cm wooden doweling into 15cm lengths. The dough can be rolled thinly with a rolling pin, but it is much easier to do with a pasta machine. A round 10cm cutter is useful but not essential.
This recipe first appeared in the November 2020 issue of SALIFE magazine.
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