When I was pregnant with my firstborn, I had an insatiable craving for violent movies. I know, crazy, right? I chalk it up to the extra testosterone in my system at the time. Rich was more than happy to oblige as I had subjected him to four years of romantic comedies without so much as a preview for Fight Club or V for Vendetta.
So at the end of my first trimester, when I asked, "Hey, why haven't I seen The Godfather?" he ran there and back from the video store before I could say, "Netflix."
I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. It seems guys never stop talking about the movie. The offer he couldn't refuse... the horse head in the bed... going to the mattresses... take the gun, leave the cannoli... What? Godfather or no Godfather, you don't leave the cannoli.
It's art, poetry, romance and everything you want in a dessert. Even a last meal. The savory, crisp shell contrasts perfectly with the sweet, smooth, creamy interior. Although the cooking requires a bit of forethought, making cannoli is quite simple, assembly really.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup white wine
1 recipe fresh ricotta cheese, about 2 1/2 cups
3.5 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1/4 cup granulated sugar
zest of one orange
1 egg, whisked
2 litres canola oil, for frying
Tools: cling film, deep-fat thermometer, pasta machine (or rolling pin), kitchen tongs, cannoli forms, pastry bag and wide decorating tip (or zip top bag with a hole in the corner)
To make the pastry, sift together the flour, cocoa powder and sugar, then cut in the butter until the mixture looks like coarse bread crumbs. Stir in the wine until the dough comes together, then knead until mixed well. Wrap in cling film and set aside for 30 minutes to an hour.
While the dough rests, stir the sugar, orange zest and chocolate pieces into the ricotta and fill a pastry bag with the mixture. If you don't have one, you can certainly use a zip top bag with a hole cut in the corner.