The Daring Bakers challenge deadline snuck up on me, again. It’s been a rough month. My talented friend Lisa was this month’s challenge host and her choice was truly inspired: Cannoli. I had grand ideas for this challenge from the moment it was revealed and, though I didn’t devote the time I wanted to, I didn’t want to let the opportunity to tackle it slip away unaddressed. So I present my challenge 2 days late, with apologies.
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.
Since I would be making a vegan version of this challenge, I would need an alternative recipe – and I knew exactly which one I’d be using. Last February’s issue of The Vegan Culinary Experience was Italian inspired and it included a perfect-looking recipe for cannoli. I followed the recipe for the cannoli shells and was quite pleased with how they turned out. You can download your free (pdf) copy of the very same issue of The Vegan Culinary Experience (including the cannoli recipe and many, many more recipes) here. And while you’re at it, sign up to be notified when new issues of VCE become available – they’re free and they’re awesome.
For the filling, I knew I wanted to use something that was nut-based and creamy. I had made this delicious almond ricotta before, for (unbelievably delicious) stuffed pasta shells. I used the same recipe as my guide for soaking and preparing the almonds (but left out all the additional savoury ingredients). I processed the almonds until they were completely smooth, added a pinch of sea salt, and added organic maple syrup to taste.
I piped the sweet creamy filling into my cannoli shells, drizzled more organic maple syrup over top and finished it all off with confectioner’s sugar.
Be sure to visit The Daring Kitchen and check out what the other Daring Bakers are up to.