I had mixed feelings about this months Daring bakers challenge. On the one hand I love cooking and eating Italian food but on the other, I refuse to deep fat fry anything. A bit further in to the post and I discovered that it was possible to bake cannoli. So I decided to give the baked version ago. I just needed to find out at what temperature and for how long and what I could use instead of buying cannoli forms. A bit of research on the Internet and I found a video where not only did the cook bake his cannoli but he used 1 inch diameter wooden dowelling to shape and bake the cannoli.
So armed with 6 3 inch lengths of wooden dowelling one Sunday afternoon I set about making baked cannoli. The dough itself was simple enough to make using my KitchenAid, however rolling out thinly was quiet a challenge. I shaped the dough around my soaked lengths of dowelling (just as suggested in the video) and baked as directed. I only made 6 cannoli since there were only 2 of us but unfortunately 4 of them refused to be parted from the dowelling! The two that survived with filled with whipped cream (a cheats filling I know but I guess I must have known they wouldn’t turn out!) and decorated with chocolate chips. The taste? I have to say I wasn’t impressed with the taste. I’m sure that part of the problem was that I went for the healthier cooking option but even so I didn’t rate the flavour of the shell that much. At least this was a slight improvement on last months macaroons!
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.