First of all, let me tell you that this isn’t the true recipe for original Italian cannoli. These are baked and gluten-free, nothing to do with the true recipe. I had to say this to make sure I won’t lose my Italian citizenship.
Sicilian cannoli are one of the most representative desserts of Sicily, typical of the carnival, however this simple but delicious dessert is eaten all year round and at any time. It is always a pleasure to bite into this particular crunchy shell filled with ricotta cream and garnished with orange peel, candied cherries or, as I did, with some pistachio or chocolate chips.
My recipe is a healthier, less messy version of the for cannoli: it is gluten-free, suitable for all gluten-tolerant and those with coeliac disease. But I assure you that they have nothing to envy of the original glutinous recipe, they will be a guaranteed success!
Is it hard to shape gluten-free cannoli?
When it comes to preparing baked gluten-free Italian cannoli at home there is always the fear of not knowing how to shape them best. After all, they have such a peculiar shape and looks very artisanal crafted. In reality it all lies in creating a good dough for the cannoli, which has a good elasticity. To achieve this, in addition to the good mix of flours and using an egg, we will use some brandy and rice vinegar, which have a strong impact on the texture of the dough.
In any case, the process is quite simple. The dough is rolled out very thinly (it is better not to exceed two millimeters in thickness). Then it is cut into squares, which are “spread” on a cylindrical mold (a tube made of steel).
However, the dough is still very fragile and needs some manual skills. That’s also why you will only find the ingredients in grams and not in tbsp/cups. The weights need to be exact in order to achieve the right dough texture.
How to decorate cannoli?
The funniest part of the Sicilian cannoli recipe is probably the decoration. In this phase, it is possible to practice a little
creativity, without betraying the original recipe. The possibilities are numerous. The simplest, but also the most widespread in Sicily, has candied fruit as protagonists, a symbol of Sicilian cuisine as they are a fixed presence in the famous cassata.
I normally prefer to opt for chopped pistachios, an ingredient widely used in the island pastries. Chopped pistachios create a nice contrast in terms of texture. Grated orange peel is a good choice to give a pleasant slighlty bitter aftertaste. Finally, those with a sweet tooth usually like a little dark chocolate as filling.