Baked Cannoli

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Great Italian Desserts

By Nick Malgieri

Published 1990

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These elegant pastry tubes of caramelized, baked puff pastry are similar to Cannoli alla Siciliana. Since they are not fried, they are a bit less rich and are more appropriately filled with pastry cream, but use ricotta filling if you prefer it.

To bake the cannoncini you need 12 metal tubes, as for cannoli. See Sources of Equipment and Ingredients.


    Pastry Cream Filling

  • 2 cups milk
  • Ā½ cup sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • Pinch salt
  • ā…“ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Ā½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ā…“ cup sugar
  • Ā¼ cup blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped


To form the cannoncini, roll out the pasta sfogliata on a floured surface into a 12-inch square. Slide the dough onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour.

For the pastry cream filling, bring the milk to a boil with half the sugar. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with the salt and whisk in the remaining sugar. Sift the flour over the yolk mixture and whisk in smoothly. When the milk boils, whisk one-third of it into the yolk mixture. Return the remaining milk to a boil and whisk in the yolk mixture, continuing to whisk until the cream thickens and comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly to prevent scorching, for 1 minute. Off the heat, whisk in the vanilla, cinnamon, and chocolate. Scrape the pastry cream into a clean nonreactive bowl and press plastic wrap against the surface. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and use a pastry wheel to cut it into 12 strips, each 1 Ɨ 12 inches. Slide the strips onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate them.

To form the cannoncini, butter 12 metal cannoli tubes. Remove a strip of dough from the refrigerator, brush it lightly with water, and turn it over so that the dry side is facing upward. (Take only one strip of dough from the refrigerator at a time; they will soften and become difficult to handle if not kept cool.) Place the end of a tube at the left side of the strip and roll the tube so that the dough rolls up on it spiral fashion, as in the illustration. Be sure not to roll too tightly and not to stretch the dough or the baked pastry will be impossible to remove from the tube. Trim away any excess dough at the end of the strip, making sure that the beginning and end of the strip are on the same side of the tube; having this seam underneath during baking will prevent the strip from unraveling. Continue with the remaining strips to form 12 cannoncini.

Place the cannoncini on a jelly roll pan lined with parchment and sprinkle with the ā…“ cup sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the pastry is dry, baked through, and well caramelized. Remove the cannoncini from the metal tubes immediately by gripping the pastry in one hand, protected with a clean towel or paper towels, and pulling out the tube with tongs. Cool the cannoncini on a rack.

To fill the cannoncini, pipe the cooled filling into them using a pastry bag fitted with a Ā½-inch plain tube (Ateco #6). Sprinkle the ends of the filling with the chopped almonds. Fill the cannoncini no more than an hour before serving or the pastry will become soggy. Refrigerate leftovers and bring to room temperature before serving.

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