Chocolate Cannoli or Cannoli alla Siciliana

  • Serves: Makes about 20 - 25 4-inch rounds
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Crisp and flaky, these chocolate cannoli shells are a variation of the classic made with just the right amount of cocoa powder to give them a rich chocolate flavor and ensure they are light and crunchy, not mushy or hard, after they are fried. I developed this dough specifically for our Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Latte Dessert Tacos, but you can also use it to make a variation of the traditional ricotta-filled Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Latte Dessert Tacos. See our special mixing and rolling methods below which makes preparing the dough so much easier than other methods!


My thinking led me to choose cannoli dough for our Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Latte Dessert Tacos because I found it will not shatter in tiny pieces when eaten and can be filled a few hours in in advance. We make the dough in a food processor, which makes it come together in a snap, and the resulting dough is perfectly blended. We use a pasta roller, instead of a rolling pin, to roll out the dough. Again, it saves time and effort. Finally, our folding method when rolling the dough gives our cannoli flakier results.

2 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1/4 cup natural cocoa powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter or lard, cubed and chilled
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add flour, cocoa powder, sugar, instant espresso powder, and salt.

2. Pulse to combine.

3. Add the cold butter and pulse about 10 times, until no large butter chunks remain.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk and white wine, then pour it in a steady stream into the dry ingredients through the feed tube, with the machine running.

The mixture should be evenly moistened and clump together slightly when pressed together between your thumb and forefinger, but is not be overly wet. Pulse the machine a few times to make sure the mixture is evenly mixed before correcting the dough.
SARAH SAYS: If it is too wet, add a few teaspoons flour, and pulse the machine until you correct the dough. If the dough is too dry, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of white wine at a time over the dough and pulse the machine a few times to incorporate. Do NOT overwork the dough.

5. Transfer dough to floured work surface and knead briefly by folding it over on itself repeatedly until it becomes too firm to knead further.

6. Use a bench scraper to divide the dough into thirds.
SARAH SAYS: Weigh each dough piece to make sure you have three evenly sized pieces.

7. Then, pass one-third of the dough, at a time, through widest setting on the pasta roller. Set the other 2 pieces aside, lightly covered with plastic wrap until needed.

8. Fold the rolled dough in thirds and pass it through again from the open side.
NOTE: Fold the dough as you would a letter!

9. Repeat until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer shreds as you are putting it through the machine.
NOTE: You may think that the dough will never come together, but keep on putting it through the machine and it will eventually become smooth and silky.

9. Fold dough in thirds again, wrap it in plastic wrap, and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

8. After all of the pieces of dough have been processed, refrigerate for an hour, or as long as overnight before continuing.

1. Make Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Latte Dessert Tacos, Starting with Step I in the linked recipe;  

2. or, Make Traditional Chocolate Cannoli Shells and Fill, Starting with Step II in the linked recipe

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