Ginger and Cocoa Nib Cannoli
MAKES 2 DOZEN / Active: 1 hr. 45 min. • Total: 49 hr. 45 min.
Two days resting in the fridge helps cannoli dough become light and bubbly. You will need cannoli molds for frying (see “Holy Cannoli,” p. 110). Serve within a few hours, before the shells soften.
FOR THE SHELLS: 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. allpurpose flour (300 g) 2 Tbsp. plus 1½ tsp. sugar (30 g) 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1 tsp. finely ground coffee 3 Tbsp. plus 1½ tsp. Marsala (50 g) 3 Tbsp. red wine (50 g) 2 Tbsp. olive oil (30 g) 1½ tsp. honey (10 g) 1½ tsp. kosher salt (5 g) Canola or grapeseed oil, for frying
FOR THE FILLING: 2 cups sheep’s-milk ricotta, pressed through a fine sieve ½ cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting ⅓ cup candied ginger, finely chopped 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest 2½ oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (½ cup), divided 1 egg white, beaten with 1 tsp. cold water ¼ cup cocoa nibs or mini chocolate chips
1 Make the dough: In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and coffee. Turn the mixer on mediumlow and add the Marsala, red wine, oil, honey, and salt; mix until the liquid is absorbed and a very dry dough forms, 8–10 minutes. (The dough will be brittle and won’t form a single mass in the bowl.) Turn out the dough, kneading briefly to press it together. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 days and up to 5.
2 The day of serving, make the filling: In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, powdered sugar, ginger, zest, and half the bittersweet chocolate. Transfer to a piping bag and refrigerate.
3 Remove and unwrap the cannoli dough. Cut it into thirds. Cover 2 pieces with plastic wrap, then use a rolling pin to flatten the third piece until it is thin enough to pass through the widest setting of a pasta machine. (You may have a shaggy strip of dough—that is normal.) Fold the strip into thirds, as if folding a letter, and pass it through the pasta machine. Continue folding and rolling until the dough comes together in a smooth strip, then tighten the setting on the machine another notch with each pass through the rollers. Stop when the dough is very thin (2 mm) or reaches setting 8 on the machine.
4 Using a 3¾-inch circular cookie or biscuit cutter, cut rounds from the dough, then wrap each around a cannoli mold (the edges should overlap slightly). Brush the inside edge with a little of the prepared eggwhite wash, and press the remaining edge on top to seal. Set the prepared molds aside while you continue rolling and shaping (you can work in batches, depending on how many molds you have). Press and reroll the dough scraps once; you should have 24–26 pieces.
5 Line a baking sheet with paper towels. In a medium pot, add enough oil to reach 2½ inches up the sides; heat to 350°F. Add the prepared molds 2–3 at a time, gently stirring to prevent sticking or scorching at the pot’s bottom. When crisped and bubbled, 2–3 minutes, remove to the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining shells. Let cool completely, then carefully remove the molds.
6 No more than a few hours before serving, fill the cannoli: Combine the remaining chocolate and cocoa nibs. Pipe the ricotta mixture through to fill each shell. Roll the ends in the nib mixture, then lightly dust the cannoli with powdered sugar.
Bittersweet chocolate adds grown-up flavor and crunch to cannoli.