This homemade vegan Italian cannoli recipe will take you straight to Sicily, the motherland of authentic cannoli siciliani. This vegan version is every bit as delicious as the traditional cannoli.

Italian Cannoli [Vegan]

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Serves

8

Ingredients

For the Homemade Vegan Ricotta:

  • 0.8-gallon unsweetened soy milk
  • 7 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

For the Cannoli Filling:

  • 23 oz vegan ricotta
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

For the Cannoli Shells:

  • 1.6 cups cake flour
  • 25 grams sugar
  • 1.7 tablespoons vegan butter or margarine
  • 2.3 oz marsala or sweet red wine
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon dark cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 0.8 gallons frying oil

For the Toppings:

  • 6 tablespoons pistachios coarsely chopped
  • 16 pieces candied orange peel
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Preparation

For the Ricotta:

  1. In a pot, warm up the soy milk up to almost boiling temperature, then place it into a large glass, wooden, or ceramic bowl. TIP: don't use a metal bowl as it might interfere with the curdling of the milk.
  2. Add the apple cider vinegar (or the lemon juice) and stir with a wooden spoon for 1 minute. Then set aside for 10 minutes. The milk should curdle.
  3. In the meantime, put a sieve over a large bowl, then cover it with a piece of cheesecloth or a clean kitchen cloth. TIP: make sure the sieve doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl, as we need space for liquid to drain the ricotta.
  4. After 10 minutes, pour the curdled soy milk into the sieve, cover it, and let it drain for at least 1.5 hours, but it is better if overnight in the fridge. TIP: place a smaller empty bowl on top of the curdled milk to add some weight and get a better drained, firmer ricotta.
  5. Once the milk has drained, your ricotta is ready to be used for the cannoli filling.

For the Cannoli Shell:

  1. While the ricotta is draining, in a bowl, add flour, sugar, cacao powder, cinnamon and mix well.
  2. Add the vegan butter (or margarine), the marsala wine (or sweet red wine), and the water. Mix with a spatula till you have a dough ball.
  3. On a worktop, knead the dough ball for about 5 minutes. You should have a smooth dough ball with a soft consistency, but not sticky. If it's too wet and sticky, add some flour to the worktop and keep kneading until it doesn't stick to your hands. Let rest in a bowl, covered with a plate, for 30 minutes. TIP: when resting, the gluten in the dough relaxes, making it easier for you to roll and lighter to eat.
  4. Then with a rolling pin, start rolling the dough. Dust the worktop and the rolling pin with flour to prevent the dough from sticking. You should aim for a thin dough of about 0.04 to 0.08 inches. 
  5. Fold the dough on itself several times (5 to 10 times) before flattening it completely. This will make the cannoli shell lighter and full of little bubbles.
  6. Cut the dough into squares or circles of the length of the cannoli tubes.
  7. Wrap the cut dough around the cannoli tubes, then wet the edges with some water before sealing the cannoli dough. Please make sure the cannoli are well sealed, or they'll open up while frying.
  8. Add the frying oil to a pot. The pot should be small but big enough to fit one cannolo plus the frying oil comfortably. Bring the oil to temperature. It should reach 350°F. The best way to check if the oil has reached temperature is with a thermometer. If you don't have one, dip the tip of a wooden spoon in the oil.
  9. If it's starting to bubble, the oil is ready. If the oil smokes, it is too hot, and it starts burning. That's not healthy. TIP: make sure the temperature of the oil stays at around 35o°F. If it's too low, the shells will absorb oil. If it's too high, the shells will burn.
  10. Fry the cannoli, one by one. It takes about 1 minute for each cannolo. Turn them around while frying so that they cook evenly. TIP: if the cannoli break away from the forms, squeeze them with your hands to tighten them up around the forms before dipping them in the frying oil.
  11. When the cannoli turn light brown, take them out of the oil, let drip the excess oil, and place them on a cooling rack on some kitchen paper. They'll darken when cooling.
  12. When cooled, remove the forms and get ready to fill up the cannoli shells. Only fill up the shells once they are completely cooled.

For the Ricotta Filling and Serving:

  1. Add the vegan ricotta, sugar, vegan dark chocolate drops, and a tiny bit of orange zest in a bowl. Use a spatula to mix gently. Do not overmix.
  2. Put the ricotta cream into a pastry piping bag and start filling the cannoli one by one.
  3. Fill each cannolo from both sides, starting from the middle and moving outwards, while filling.
  4. Dip one end of the cannoli into some crushed pistachios, and top the other end with candied orange peel or half a candied cherry.
  5. Arrange on a serving platter, sprinkle with powder sugar and enjoy. TIP: Use the leftover dough to make some cannoli nachos.
  6. Flatten it, then cut it into triangles, fry it, and serve it with a side of cannoli filling dip. 

Notes

- If you can, please use a digital scale for our recipes. This way you'll get the best results. - If you use cups and spoons for measurement, use the "spoon and level" method. That is, spoon the ingredients into the measuring cup, or measuring spoon. Then level the excess with a knife.



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