True Italian cannoli, with deep fried shells of dough and creamy ricotta or mascarpone filling just can't be beat, when you have the time or a great bakery nearby. For those times when you can't fry but the cannoli craving hits, try this recipe for Cannoli Cakes. In less than an hour, you can have 12 small tender vanilla pound cakes topped with a sweet, rich, creamy ricotta filling that is chock full of chocolate chips and tasty salty pistachios. Believe me when I say "leave the fryer, take the cannoli" Cannoli cake that is!
3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup orange liqueur (such as Triple Sec) for brushing
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 cup whipping cream, whipped and chilled
1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup finely chopped salted pistachios
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange 12 mini paper brioche pans on a parchment lined baking sheet, and spritz the pans with cooking spray. If you are not using paper brioche pans, you may use a 12 cup muffin tin.
Beat the eggs, sugar and salt on medium high speed for 5 minutes until thick. Gently fold in the melted, cooled butter and flour until no lumps remain. Divide the batter evenly among the pans.
Bake for 15-18 minutes until lightly golden brown on the edges and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, cool completely. If using a muffin tin, remove the cakes to a wire rack to cool, don't leave them in the pan as they will steam and get soggy.
Gently brush each cake with some of the orange liqueur and repeat until all liqueur is used up. Set the cakes aside while you prepare the filling.
Combine the ricotta, sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium mixing bowl until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream, mini chocolate chips and chopped pistachios until evenly incorporated.
Using a cookie or muffin scoop or large spoon, evenly divide the ricotta filling over the 12 cakes. Place on a tray and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before serving.
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Hands-on time: 25 mins. to 35 mins.
Baking time: 15 mins. to 18 mins.
Total time: 40 mins. to 43 mins.
Yield: 12 small cannoli cakes
Not a fan of orange liqueur? Use simple syrup (plain or flavored with orange) instead. Brushing the cakes helps keep them moist.
Try a bit of candied lemon peel as a topping, it adds a bright flavor and touch of sparkle.
Should you by chance have some ricotta topping left over, it's great on graham crackers!
Recipe and photograph courtesy of King Arthur Flour.