Ah, the cannoli; whether you love to fill them with ricotta, mascarpone, or sheep‘s milk this traditional Italian dessert is always a favorite. Cannolo translates from the Italian as “little tube”. Though many variations of the classic recipe exist, here I fill my little tubes with cinnamon-spice-coffee ricotta. The air-fried shells are light and flaky. The finished product is decidedly decadent. Enjoy!
To make your cannoli shells in the air fryer:
• 1 tablespoon espresso
• 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder
• 4 cups flour, sifted
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons butter, softened and cut into small pieces
• 2 egg yolks
• 3/4 cup dry white wine
For the filling:
• 16 ounces ricotta, drained
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon allspice
• 1/4 cup heavy cream
• 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
• 1 teaspoon espresso
For the dough:
1) Mix flour, sugar, salt, and cocoa powder in a bowl.
2) Add in butter, piece by piece, then add in egg yolks stirring with a fork as you go.
3) Add the espresso and stir in the wine slowly, until the dough clings together.
4) Form a large ball with the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and allow it to stand for 30 minutes.
5) Take a small amount of dough and roll it out on a flour-coated surface until thin. Cut 4-inch circles from the dough.*
6) Cover a cannoli tube with cooking spray or oil and roll the dough circle around it overlap the edges and press down, leaving no gaps. Be careful not to wrap the edges with dough is it would make it difficult to slide the tubes out.
7) Place your shells 4 at a time in the air fryer at 380ºF for 5 minutes. Open the fryer, turn the shells over and put them back in for 2 more minutes.
8) Let the shells cool and carefully slide the tubes out.
For the filling:
1) Drain your ricotta if needed, then whisk it until smooth.
2) Combine powdered sugar, cinnamon, and allspice with your ricotta and thoroughly mix together.
3) In a separate bowl, whisk the heavy cream with the espresso until stiff.
4) Fold the two mixtures together.
5) Chill your filling for at least 1/2 hour.
6) Pipe** the filling into the now completely cooled shells from both sides. For added sweetness, line the shells with mini chocolate chips first, then pipe the cream into each shell. When finished set chips into the edges of the filled shells.
7) Coat the completed cannolis with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
*If you do not have a 4-inch cookie cutter many martini glasses or margarita glasses have a 4-inch diameter and work well.
**If you do not have a piping bag or piping tool, you can use a Ziplock bag. Simply fill it with the cream then seal it and cut one edge open to pipe from.
I used a combination of many recipes- thank you to all these intrepid chefs: