Cannoli al cacao con ricotta (cocoa cannoli with ricotta)

Makes 20-24 Cakes, Bread and Pastries

Cannoli al cacao con ricotta


  • grapeseed, peanut or sunflower oil, for frying
  • 1 egg white, for brushing
  • pasta maker (optional)
  • 9cm cookie cutter
  • metal cannoli tubes
  • piping bag (optional)
  • food thermometer

For the pastry

  • 250g plain flour
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2tsp dark bitter cocoa
  • 2tsp finely ground coffee
  • 50g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2tsp white wine vinegar
  • 50ml dry white wine
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

For the filling

  • 600g firm ricotta
  • 150g caster sugar

To serve

  • pistachio nuts, crushed
  • icing sugar


To make the pastry, place the flour, sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, coffee and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Scatter over the butter and using your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the vinegar, wine and egg and stir until well incorporated.

Tip the dough on to a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 2 minutes until smooth. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

To make the filling, mix the ricotta and sugar in a bowl until you have a smooth cream then set aside in the fridge.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to 1-2mm thick. You can use a pasta machine to roll out the dough, taking it down as far as the third-last setting. Using the cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough.

Heat enough oil in a saucepan or deep fryer to 170C or until a scrap of dough dropped into the oil bubbles immediately.

Wrap the dough circles around cannoli tubes so the edges overlap slightly. Seal the edges with egg white and press firmly. Brush a little egg white over the shell as well.

Cook the cannoli tubes one at a time for 2-21⁄2 minutes until brown.

Lift the cannoli out with tongs (or take out the basket if using a deep fryer). Shake the shell from the tube and place on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.

If the shells don’t come off easily, leave them to cool slightly then hold them gently with kitchen paper and use the tongs to pull the tubes from the cooked pastry.

Wipe the metal tube with kitchen paper and wrap another uncooked pastry circle around the tube, sealing it well with egg white. Repeat until they are all cooked.

Fill the cooled shells with the ricotta cream, using a knife to push the mixture in from either end. Alternatively, put the sweet ricotta in a piping bag and pipe into the tubes using a wide nozzle.

To serve, dip the ends of the cannoli in the crushed pistachio nuts and dust with icing sugar.

Recipes and photographs taken from Italian Street Food by Paola Bacchia, photography by Paola Bacchia and Ian Summers (Smith Street Books, £25)
Cannoli al cacao con ricotta
Recipes and photographs taken from Italian Street Food by Paola Bacchia, photography by Paola Bacchia and Ian Summers (Smith Street Books, £25)

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