pumpkin-pecan and turkish delight cannoli (daring bakers)

I actually made my Daring Bakers challenge early this month, woot! Marvin informed me that we were going to a dinner party a couple weeks ago and volunteered me to bring a dessert, so I figured it was as good an excuse as any to roll up my sleeves and get frying.

I was a little skeptical about frying anything in my tiny kitchen without the aid of a deep fryer, but it turned out pretty much ok. I used my Le Creuset Dutch oven, which was deep enough to avoid any splattering.  The only collateral damage was a lingering fast-food grease smell that permeated the house for several days after!  I used pasta tubes for the cannoli forms, which was a little challenging but not impossible.

The cannoli were not difficult to make, but they were time-consuming.  Thankfully I had a pasta rolling machine, which greatly helped in rolling the dough to the proper thickness- I can’t imagine if I’d had to roll it out by hand, yikes.  The dough actually behaved very similarly to pasta dough and the machine worked very well at getting it to a workable consistency.  I hit a little bit of a speed bump when I went to make the dough- it was Sunday morning, I didn’t have any wine in the house, and you can’t buy alcohol until noon.  I didn’t have time to wait, so I poked around the pantry until I came across some Chinese cooking wine.  I sniffed it… it smelled close enough to Marsala, so into the dough it went.

For filling my cannoli, I bought ricotta but also bought some whipping cream which I whipped and folded into the ricotta.  It wasn’t traditional, of course, but it gave a wonderful light texture to the filling.  I divided my filling into two bowls and flavored one batch with about ¼ cup pumpkin butter from Trader Joe’s.  The other half of the filling was inspired by Turkish flavors; I used sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, and a little orange flower water.  The pumpkin-filled cannoli got pecans on the ends, and the “Turkish delight” cannoli got pistachios and apricots.

I doubt that cannoli would be something I’d attempt again at home, not just because of the frying but because they ended up being a little on the expensive side after you factor in the whole bottle of oil I had to use, and the manicotti shells I bought to use as molds.  But it was a fun experience, and after the last challenge, it was nice to make something I had success with on the first try!  (For recipe, please visit our hostess Lisa Michele’s blog at the link below.)

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.

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18 responses to “pumpkin-pecan and turkish delight cannoli (daring bakers)

  1. Great idea to add the whipped cream – I loved the filling but found it on the heavy side… next time I will try using cream as well. Your pictures are gorgeous.

  2. Both flavours sound delicious; the Turkish Delight strikes my fancy especially – yum!

  3. they look great all blistered…just the way its supposed to be.

  4. These look amazing, Noelle! When you said “Turkish Delight” I went “huh?” thinking that you put in pieces of the jellied candy. This version looks much, much tastier! 😉

    The DB’s always amaze me.

  5. Looks awesome! I love cannoli…

  6. These were excellent!

  7. I love the sound of the pumpkin butter/pecan filled ones! I wish I had tried frying mine with pasta molds. Hopefully, there will be someone poking around the Goodwill that will be interested in my molds.

  8. Oooo yummy!
    Yours are so pretty! Great blistering!

  9. Both of your fillings sound so interesting and intriguing especially the Turkish delight one and your cannoli look so warty and blistered well done. Cheers from Audax in Australia. OBTW you photos are very nice.

  10. Love pumpkin…a great filling combo

  11. I thought your shells looked great — so thin!! I think it’s ideal for them to be as thin as possible. I guess the pasta machine helps with that (an investment for some future date). How was it getting the fried shells off the pasta after they were fried?

    • It was kind of a pain, because after reusing them the pasta shells became brittle and started to break. I definitely had to give them a good tug to remove them. I lost a couple cannoli shells to breakage and some of the “blisters” popped in the process, but overall it wasn’t too tough.

  12. I love reading about success, and your cannoli are stunning, the fillings making my mouth water, especially the turkish delight! I also love that you lightened up the ricotta with whipped cream to make sort of a mousse, and added pumpkin butter. YUMMY is an understatemnt! Fantastic job all around and thanks for deep frying with me this month!

  13. I love the sound of your fillings, yummy! Nice cannoli

  14. Pretty, pretty, pretty. Great job!

  15. Ahah, you too are a MacGyver in your kitchen! Love it! And the Chinese wine?! 😀 You rock mademoiselle Noëlle!

  16. excellent use of pasta shells! might have to steal the idea one day 🙂

  17. super, super creative use of the manicotti shells – i don’t think i would ever have thought of that! going to remember this one for a long time. who has those silver cannoli rollers around their house? not me!

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