Friday, November 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: Cannoli

The November 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. She chose the Italian Pastry, Cannolo (Cannoli is plural), using the cookbooks Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book..

Mise en place...
Making and prepping the dough
Allowing the ball of dough to rest in the refrigerator before rolling out circles

Since I am a linguist-in-training, I thought I would discuss the word “cannoli” to you all before going into what I did for this challenge: As the intro states, the word “cannoli” is the plural form of “cannolo” because it has the plural marker “i” at the end of the word. So, saying or writing “cannoli” with an “s” is repetitive (and incorrect). In fact, the “s” is not a plural marker in Italian, and you never see the letter at the end of Italian words unless it is a borrowed from another language (not applicable to all borrowed words).
Rolling out the dough

Also, “ricotta” is pronounced “ree-COAT-tah” (pronunciation breakdown based on U.S. English phonology), not “ree-CAH-duh”. Lastly, “mascarpone” is pronounced “mah-skar-POE-neh”, not “mah-skar-pone”. In Italian and many other Romance languages, most of the vowels are pure and monosyllabic. Also, each syllable is pronounced. Okay, now that we got the language lesson out the way (haha), here is what I did for the challenge:
Rolling the circles and getting out the egg whites for the tips of the circles...
Rolling the dough around the forms...
Frying the cannoli!
Ecco i cannoli senza ripieno. Here are the cannoli sans filling.
The two cannoli at the bottom were dipped in milk chocolate and chocolate chips. The cannolo at the top was dipped in toffee bits. All three had the mascarpone filling.

I’m not a fan of frying food, but I was still happy about this challenge because I’ve never tasted cannoli before because of my aversion to ricotta and its sour taste. When I read that we could use mascarpone, I felt more comfortable about going through with this challenge. As an added challenge, I made homemade mascarpone, and it was super easy to make! It came out so creamy.

Thank you,
Lisa Michelle, for this challenge! Don't forget to check out what the other Daring Bakers have done!

Mascarpone Filling

adapted from Recipes 5000

  • 2 containers or 8 ounces of homemade mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Beat mascarpone until smooth. Add in the rest of the ingredients. Transfer to a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch star or plain tip. Pipe into the cannoli.


  1. I'm not a big ricotta fan either. Your filling sounds delicious. Great job on this challenge! They look wonderful!

  2. You did beautiful, Memoria! They look awesome!!! And yes, I cringe whenever I hear the beautiful Italian language being butchered ... especially at pseudo-Italian restaurants!


  3. Beautiful!!! You are so talented!

  4. Those are amazing!! I'm coming over. :)

  5. Hi, Mem!
    You make everything look so effortlessly. I just know these cannoli, especially the chocolate ones, are da bomb! Anyway, thank you for the wonderful Thanksgiving we just spent together! The turkey you made, the dressing, oh my, the dressing, the homemade croissants, yeast rolls, sweet potato pies, giblet gravy and chocolate cake were to die for! I am truly blessed that I have such a beautiful, and gifted daughter--girl, you've got skill! As I drive back home in the morning, I will miss you, but I will thank God for bringing you into my life!

    Love ya!

  6. I have to admit that platter of cannoli is one of the nicest I have seen so far and the warts and blisters on them are fabulous and I bet were delicious well done and bravo (yes I know they mean the same thing) on this challenge and your pixs are beautiful. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

  7. Wow, such beautiful cannoli! I especially love the chocolate-dipped shells, they're simply stunning, and sound seriously delicious. :)

  8. You did a beautiful job with your cannoli. The shells look just perfect! Thanks for setting the record straight regarding the pronunciations of ricotta and mascarpone. Hearing them mispronounced always drives me crazy! Now, if we could only get people to stop saying "Eyetalian"! ;)

  9. Beautiful cannoli. very nicely done!

  10. Hi Memoria,

    Your cannoli are beautiful indeed and I loved your post. How interesting that you're studying to be a linguist. I think that's fascinating!

    :) Jane

  11. Hi Memoria - thanks for the lessons on the cannolis... ooops that is cannoli! haha... but really - your cannoli are beautiful - especially the ones dipped in milk chocolate with the chocolate bits. Delicious!

  12. Memoria, as I expected, your cannoli are beautiful..perfectly executed, and the simple mascarpone filling, highlighted by either milk chocolate and chips or toffee bits, is perfection! I'll take several of the toffee bit ones..k? :) Thank you so much for deep frying with me this month!

  13. They look fantastic! I'd love to try yours especially the one with toffee bits.

  14. Kudos for making your own mascarpone! Lovely instruction photos also. Great job on the challenge!

  15. Delicious looking results and you made your own mascarpone too! Thank you for the linguistics lesson. I've had discussions with waitresses about the proper pronunciation of mascarpone and Bolognese, lol! Terrific results!

  16. Barbara - Thanks! I'm glad I'm not the only one doesn't fancy ricotta.

    Ju - Thanks so much! I cringe, too. Also, whenever I hear or see Spanish, Portuguese, and English being used incorrectly.

    Amanda - Thanks!

    One Particular Kitchen - Thanks! My door is open to ya. Mi casa es tu casa. :)

    Hi, Mom! - Thank you so much. I love you and your comments. You wrote this in the hotel room! haha I was in the same room with ya! I thank God that you're my mother. I'm glad you enjoyed the food.

    All Our Fingers in the Pie - Thanks!

    Audax - Awww, shucks, that means a lot coming from you. Thank you for the compliments.

    bittersweetblog - Thanks!!

    Susan - Thanks so much! I feel honored that you think they look perfect. They were a bit thick, but that's okay. The mispronunciations bother me, too! LOL @ "Eyetalian".

    Ellie - Thanks so much.

    Jane disse - Thank you very much. I love what I study; it is still fascinating to me. Thank you for the lovely comment.

    trissalicious - LOL! You're funny. Thanks for the compliment and for stopping by. :)

    lisamichele - Awww, I absolutely adored your comment. Thank you for the sweet comments and for this great challenge.

    Ingrid - Thanks, Ingrid! The toffee one seems to be the popular one. :)

    anjelikuh - Thanks! The cheese was fun to make.

    Eat4Fun - Thanks for the great compliments. You're welcome re: ling. lesson haha. I think it's important to acknowledge and respect all languages, especially if you know the linguistic rules.

  17. Wow! Your cannoli look fabulous! I have been super busy this quarter with a class I am teaching, but I am doing this challenge this weekend!


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