Cannoli (Sicilian Stuffed Pastry Shells) or Cassata (Sicilian Ricotta Cream Cake)

Ricotta Cream Filling for Cassata or Cannoli
1 lb. ricotta cheese (whole milk works best), drained of any liquid
½ cup powdered sugar
2 T. chopped semi-sweet chocolate or 2 T mini chocolate morsels
1-2 drops cinnamon oil (Found in bakery supply stores or use just a sprinkle of ground cinnamon if not available)
zest of 1 orange

In a bowl, beat the ricotta and sugar until soft and creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in the chocolate, cinnamon oil, and orange zest until well combined, about 15-30 seconds.

For Cassata:

  • ½ cup rum mixed with 2 T. orange marmalade
  • 18 –24 ladyfingers
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream whipped until stiff with ¼ cup powdered sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Garnish: Chopped toasted almonds, chocolate shavings, chopped pistachios.

    In a small saucepan, heat rum with orange marmalade until warmed. Brush 9-12 ladyfingers with rum mixture and place on bottom of an 8” round springform pan. Spread half the ricotta mixture over ladyfingers. Brush remaining ladyfingers with rum mixture, place over ricotta, top with remaining ricotta mixture. Top with whipped cream; spreading evenly over ricotta filling. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, and up to 24, covered with plastic wrap.

    When ready to serve, sprinkle top of cake with chopped almonds, chocolate shavings, or chopped pistachios. Remove the outer ring of springform pan, cut into 8 wedges. Serves 8.

    For Cannoli:

  • 24 miniature cannoli shells or 12 large shells (purchased at Italian specialty stores)
  • Pastry bag or plastic zip lock bag with corner tip cut out
  • 1 Recipe of Ricotta Filling powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup finely chopped pistachios

    Using a pastry bag filled with ricotta filling, pipe into cannoli shells from either end. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and finely chopped pistachios. Serve within 2-3 hours.

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