Healthier Italian Cannoli Cream – Twiins Style

Healthier Italian Cannoli Cream - Twiins Style

  • Servings: 8 Small Cannoli
  • Difficulty: Easy

Today marks a very special milestone birthday for us. To add to our celebration we're making a healthier version of our favorite birthday dessert...Cannoli. We weren't sure how the texture would be effected using part-skim ricotta instead of whole milk ricotta, but as it turned out we were very happy with the results, The texture isn't quite the same but hardly noticeable. Since we didn't want to give up our favorite dessert using part-skim ricotta was a huge success for us. If eating healthier means you think you have to give up your favorites, we proved you don't have to. ❤️❤️

Ingredients

  • 12.5 ounces part-skim milk ricotta (drained for 2 days in the refrigerator to remove all excess liquid)
  • 4 ounces granulated sugar
  • 0.083 ounces vanilla extract
  • 1 tiny drop of cinnamon oil
  • 1 drop Fiori di Sicilia
  • 1/2 Tablespoon candied citron, diced (optional)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon candied orange peel, diced (optional)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons semi-sweet Mini chocolate chips (may substitute with bittersweet chips, depending on your preference.)
  • chopped nuts or mini chocolate chips, your preference, for garnish
  • powdered sugar

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl place the drained ricotta cheese into the bowl, mix to combine with a spatula until smooth. (You can use a stand mixer if you prefer but this is a small batch so it’s not needed)
  2. Add granulated sugar and fold in until dissolved completely. The texture should be smooth, not grainy.
  3. Fold in the vanilla & cinnamon oil.
  4. Blend until incorporated.
  5. Gently fold in the citron, and/or candied orange, and mini chocolate chips.
  6. Place in a pastry bag and refrigerate until ready to pipe into cannoli & serve.
  7. Before piping, cut the tip of the pastry bag large enough to allow the chips to pass through.
  8. Garnish the ends to your liking and sprinkle with a little powdered sugar.
  9. Enjoy!

 

Notes: If making cannoli you can save time by purchasing the pre-made shells from Amazon or Costco.

Do not fill cannoli until ready to serve or your shells will be soggy.

Cannoli Cream Filling can also be used for cakes, cupcakes, and as a pastry filling.

 

 

Fold in and blend all ingredients. Refrigerate overnight or a minimum of 2-3 hours before serving.

 

 

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Cannoli Shells – Gluten-Free Twiins Style

Cannoli Shells - Gluten-Free Twiins Style

  • Servings: 40 small cannoli shells
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

It has taken 3 years of experimenting with countless cannoli shell recipes to get the cannoli shells to have the perfect texture, like the New York & Boston bakeries...not too crisp or too hard. We were persistent in trying to make a shell worthy of our cannoli cream. We were disappointed to learn that most of the Italian restaurants along with a lot of bakeries who serve/sell cannoli buy premade shells. It was a daunting journey and we were about to give up and buy the premade but we gave it one more try. Once we got the regular shell recipe to our liking we had to come up with a gluten-free recipe for Jack. We are thrilled to share our gluten-free recipe with you. They are delicious and so worth the effort!

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ c Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Flour 
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste 
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine (do not use cooking Marsala)
  • Vegetable oil for frying  to a depth of 3-inches
  • candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer
  • 3-4 qt. saucepan
  •  small/mini cannoli forms
  •  prepared Italian Cannoli Cream, Twiins Style

Directions

  1. Sift the gluten-free flour, sugar, cinnamon, cacao powder, and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Make a well in the center and add the cold butter. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter until the mixture has the consistency of coarse cornmeal.
  3. In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolks, wine & vanilla paste. Add to the flour, a tablespoon at a time, just until the dough begins to cling together. It should be lumpy.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until it is smooth and satiny and tiny blisters appear on the surface. The blisters mean that the wine is beginning its fermentation in the dough, which will produce a crisp, light shell. Under kneading will result in large, irregular air pockets in the dough that will puff up and explode when they hit the oil.
  5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  6. In a deep heavy-bottomed 3-4 qt saucepan, add enough oil to come to a depth of 3 inches; heat to 375ºF on a deep-fry or candy thermometer. You will need to adjust the heat from time to time to maintain 375º.
  7. After an hour, remove dough from the refrigerator.  Then divide the dough into 4 quarters.
  8. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to approximately 1/16 inch thick and cut it into 3-inch circles with a cookie cutter.
  9. Use a small pastry brush to lightly wipe some vegetable oil around each cannoli tube to prevent dough from sticking to the tube.
  10. Wrap each cutout of dough around the aluminum cannoli tube and seal the edges with a little water. The edges should overlap. Press down to seal well.
  11. Once the oil reaches 372º-375º, use a chopstick to slide through the cannoli tube and gently place it in the hot oil. Fry 2 or 3 at a time, depending on the size of your pan, just be careful as they cook quickly. If the shells are browning too quickly lower temperature to 370º. Temperatures may vary depending on a gas stove or electric so keep an eye on the candy thermometer as it changes quickly.  Use the chopstick to roll the tubes around until golden brown. They will dry a darker color once cooled. Using the chopsticks again, insert into tube and quickly remove to paper towel draped cooking rack to drain excess oil. Don’t worry if the tubes slide off the dough while frying. Just carefully remove the tube with your chopstick.
  12. Use oven mitts or triple folded paper towels to grab the hot tube and gently shake to slide the shell off. Completely cool and store in an airtight container or plastic baggies with a paper towel inside to absorb any excess oil. They will keep several weeks.
  13. To Fill: Do not fill cannoli until ready to serve or your shells will be soggy. Use a large pastry bag with or without a fancy tip. Fill the bag with cannoli cream and squeeze into the shells, filling half of each shell at a time; working from the center out to the ends.
  14. Decorate the ends with chopped pistachios, mini chocolate chips, candied orange peel or candied cherries. Shell ends can also be dipped in chocolate before filling.

Notes: Cannolo (plural: cannoli) The word cannoli means ‘pipes’ – pipes of crispy pastry filled with ricotta cream (the most common), pastry cream, chocolate cream, or pistachio cream.

Recipe adapted from Victoria Granof, Sweet Sicily: The Story of an Island and Her Pastries.

 

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twiinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

 

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Cannoli Shells – Twiins Style

Cannoli Shells - Twiins Style

  • Servings: 40 small cannoli shells
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

It has taken 3 years of experimenting with countless cannoli shell recipes to get the cannoli shells to have the perfect texture, like the New York & Boston bakeries...not too crisp or too hard. We were persistent in trying to make a shell worthy of our Italian Cannoli Cream, Twiins Style. We were disappointed to learn that most of the Italian restaurants along with a lot of bakeries who serve/sell cannoli buy premade shells. It was a daunting journey and we were about to give up and buy the premade but we gave it one more try. We are thrilled to share our recipe with you. They are delicious and so worth the effort! ❤️❤️

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste 
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine (do not use cooking Marsala)
  • Vegetable oil for frying  to a depth of 3-inches
  • candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer
  • 3-4 qt. saucepan
  •  small/mini cannoli forms
  •  prepared Italian Cannoli Cream, Twiins Style

Directions

  1. Sift the flour, sugar, cinnamon, cacao powder, and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Make a well in the center and add the cold butter. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter until the mixture has the consistency of coarse cornmeal.
  3. In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolks, wine & vanilla paste. Add to the flour, a tablespoon at a time, just until the dough begins to cling together. It should be lumpy.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until it is smooth and satiny and tiny blisters appear on the surface. The blisters mean that the wine is beginning its fermentation in the dough, which will produce a crisp, light shell. Under kneading will result in large, irregular air pockets in the dough that will puff up and explode when they hit the oil.
  5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  6. In a deep heavy-bottomed 3-4 qt saucepan, add enough oil to come to a depth of 3 inches; heat to 375ºF on a deep-fry or candy thermometer. You will need to adjust the heat from time to time to maintain 375º.
  7. After an hour, remove dough from the refrigerator. If using a pasta machine, make sure to flour the machine first. Then divide the dough into 4. Using your hands, flatten the dough into a small square or rectangular shape and pass through the pasta machine on “0”. Continue to pass through making sure to go up a number on the machine with each pass until you get through 5. The dough is now thin enough to cut out the circles using a 3-inch round cookie cutter on a floured surface.  Proceed to step 9.
  8. If you don’t have a pasta machine, on a floured surface, roll out the dough to approximately 1/16 inch thick and cut it into 3-inch circles with a cookie cutter.
  9. Use a small pastry brush to lightly wipe some vegetable oil around each cannoli tube to prevent dough from sticking to the tube.
  10. Wrap each cutout of dough around the aluminum cannoli tube and seal the edges with a little water. The edges should overlap. Press down to seal well.
  11. Once the oil reaches 372º-375º, use a chopstick to slide through the cannoli tube and gently place it in the hot oil. Fry 2 or 3 at a time, depending on the size of your pan, just be careful as they cook quickly. If the shells are browning too quickly lower temperature to 370º. Temperatures may vary depending on a gas stove or electric so keep an eye on the candy thermometer as it changes quickly.  Use the chopstick to roll the tubes around until golden brown. They will dry a darker color once cooled. Using the chopsticks again, insert into tube and quickly remove to paper towel draped cooking rack to drain excess oil. Don’t worry if the tubes slide off the dough while frying. Just carefully remove the tube with your chopstick.
  12. Use oven mitts or triple folded paper towels to grab the hot tube and gently shake to slide the shell off. Completely cool and store in an airtight container or plastic baggies with a paper towel inside to absorb any excess oil. They will keep several weeks.
  13. To Fill: Do not fill cannoli until ready to serve or your shells will be soggy. Use a large pastry bag with or without a fancy tip. Fill the bag with cannoli cream and squeeze into the shells, filling half of each shell at a time; working from the center out to the ends.
  14. Decorate the ends with chopped pistachios, mini chocolate chips, candied orange peel or candied cherries. Shell ends can also be dipped in chocolate before filling.

Notes: Click on the link for our gluten-free version: Cannoli Shells – Gluten-Free Twiins Style

Cannolo (plural: cannoli) The word cannoli means ‘pipes’ – pipes of crispy pastry filled with ricotta cream (the most common), pastry cream, chocolate cream, or pistachio cream.

Recipe adapted from Victoria Granof, Sweet Sicily: The Story of an Island and Her Pastries.

 

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twiinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

 

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Aunt Rosemarie’s Scrumptious Ricotta Sheet Cake

Our Aunt Rosemarie was always our fashion role model as we were growing up. Her beautiful red hair is her signature look and she always dresses so beautifully. Aunt Rosemarie always had a way of making us feel so special. Whenever we visited her in Brooklyn, as children or as adults, she cooked so much food that she could have fed all of Brooklyn! We have fond memories of the long folding tables that she and our uncle Ralph set up in the living room to accommodate our large family.  For us, it was like going to a fine Italian restaurant, enjoying appetizers, pasta, main dish, and desserts.  The meal was endless and oh so good! We are happy to share her delicious ricotta sheet cake that she gave us during a recent phone call. This cake is a real crowd pleaser, extremely moist and so easy to make. ❤️❤️

Servings: 12     Prep Time: 10 minutes      Bake Time: 1 hour 25 minutes   Difficulty: Easy

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box of your favorite yellow cake mix (to make our Gluten-Free version, click here)
  • 2 lbs whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • juice of 1 small lemon or 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • fresh blueberries or raspberries
  • powdered sugar 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. In a medium size bowl mix the ricotta cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla and lemon juice with a wooden spoon and set aside.
  3. Follow directions on cake mix box and pour into a greased & floured  9 x 13-inch baking pan.
  4. Pour the ricotta mixture directly on top of the cake batter in the pan. No need to spread or stir as the ricotta will sink to the bottom and form a nice layer.
  5. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour and 25 minutes until top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the pan placed on a cooling rack. Once cooled cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and top with fresh fruit just before serving.
  8. Enjoy!

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Italian Cannoli Cream – Twiins Style

Italian Cannoli Cream - Twiins Style

  • Servings: 40-60 Cannolis
  • Difficulty: Easy

Anyone who knows Barbara knows she's a cannoli snob! She compares every cannoli she tastes to her favorite Italian Bakery in Lindenhurst, New York (including the cannoli we had in Italy). There are so many versions of cannolis throughout Italy and every Italian neighborhood throughout the United States that it would be impossible to choose which one is best... So, we set out to incorporate the best of all the cannolis we've ever tried and are so happy to share our best version with you. ❤️❤️

Ingredients

  • 4½ lbs whole milk ricotta (drained overnight to remove all excess liquid)
  • 1½ lbs granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 drops cinnamon oil (or 1 tsp ground cinnamon)
  • 1/4 cup citron, diced
  • 1/4 cup candied orange peel, diced
  • 4 oz semi-sweet Mini chocolate chips (may substitute with bittersweet chips, depending on your preference.)

Directions

  1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, place the drained ricotta cheese into the mixing bowl, mix the cheese on lowest speed to combine and smooth.
  2. Add granulated sugar and allow to mix in until dissolved completely. The texture should be smooth, not grainy.
  3. Add the vanilla & cinnamon oil.
  4. Mix until incorporated. Do not overmix.
  5. Gently fold in the citron, candied orange and mini chocolate chips.
  6. Place in a pastry bag and refrigerate until ready to pipe into cannolis & serve.
  7. Before piping, cut the tip of the pastry bag large enough to allow the chips to pass through.

Notes: If using ground cinnamon, your cannoli filling will not be white. 

If making cannoli you can save time by purchasing the pre-made shells from Amazon or Costco.

Do not fill cannoli’s until ready to serve or your shells will be soggy.

Cannoli Cream Filling can also be used for cakes, cupcakes, and as a pastry filling.

 

 

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