“Leave the gun…take the cannoli”…
The infamous scene in the Godfather is always on repeat in my brain when I’m making or eating cannoli. And, my second thought is “why would they not want to take the cannoli? I mean, come on!”
I have had my fair share of cannoli over the years. My sister-in-law’s mother-in-law was Sicilian and made the best Sicilian cannoli. They are crunchy shells filled with a rich ricotta and often had chopped dark chocolate …which I love. But, I also love the flaky, cream filled cannoli too! These ones (below) are much different than the Sicilian version.
You can see the Sicilian version (I made the ones below for a photo shoot) are very different!
But the Sicilain version is more difficult because getting the pastry right isn’t easy and they need to be fried. Even my SIL’s MIL ended up sourcing some really good shells because she was tired of all the mess it made!
If you get them in restaurants, like the ones below, they are usually the Sicilian version.
But mine are simple because they use store bought puff pastry and a cream that is super easy (2-ingredient super easy!). Simply roll out the puff pastry a smidge and cut into strips…
Then you roll them around cannoli tubes and bake them off (NOTE: if you don’t have cannoli tubes, the easiest thing to do is to wrap sugar cones – like for ice cream – with tin foil, spray them with cooking spray and wrap the pastry around that).
Once they’re baked,you pull them gently off the tubes, pipe in the cream filling, dust with icing sugar and you have a dessert that is so bakery worthy, you will even pat yourself on the back.
And if you want to change up the filling, try any of these:
- Add Nutella to the cream filling as it thickens to make a nutella cannoli
- Use lemon pudding mix to make lemon cannoli
- Add almond extract to the filling and dip the ends in chopped toasted almonds for almond cannoli
So many ways you can make these your own. I even put all the broken bits in a bowl and served them as dippers with leftover filling…’cause, you know, broken bits have not calories!
Fast Baked Cream-Filled Cannoli
These are flaky and light with a filling that resembles pastry cream! You can add Nutella to flavour it or use lemon flavoured pudding to change it up a bit!
- 1 pkg (450g) store bought puff pastry (2 sheets)
- flour for rolling
- 2 boxes (102g) instant vanilla pudding
- 1 litre whipping cream
- Icing sugar for dusting
- cooking spray
- metal tube forms (cannoli tubes) from a bakery supply store)
Preheat your oven to 400°F . Line a large baking sheet with parchment and spray each cannoli tube with cooking spray (you'll only need this once)
Unroll the first puff pastry sheet and place it on a well, floured surface. Roll out to about 15 x 10-inches and cut into 15 long evenly cut strips per sheet.
Starting from one end of the cannoli tube, wrap the puff pastry around the tube making sure to slightly overlap the pastry dough each time you wrap around (making sure that there are no gaps in between); place each puff pastry wrapped tube on your baking tray (making sure the end pieces are tucked under) and bake on the middle rack for approximately 15 minutes or until they are a light golden brown.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add your whipping cream and both packages of pudding mix; beat (with the wire whisk attachment if you have it) on medium speed until it has thickened. Spoon into a piping bag and if you don't have a piping bag you can use a plastic ziploc bag snipping off a small piece at the corner of the bag, big enough to fit into each cannoli tube.
Remove the Cannoli from the oven and allow to cool.
Once cooled gently remove each cannoli shell from the metal form by grasping the tube with one hand and gently wrapping your hand around the cannoli, being careful not to press too hard); set aside. Gently pipe the filling into each cannoli shell and dust with icing sugar on top.
Refrigerate until ready to serve (for optimum crispiness, don't fill the cannoli too far ahead of time)
**If you don’t have the Cannoli metal forms you could use a sugar cone wrapped tightly in aluminum foil and spray each aluminum wrapped cone with a non-stick baking spray