I have never seen cannoli in any bakery in the UK...yet...but having seen it a lot on USA cooking programmes I had to have a go...
This recipe makes A LOT, I actually halved it and made about 12 cannoli.
4 cups (500g) sifted plain (all purpose) flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 egg yolks
3⁄4cup (180ml) white wine (I used half water, half orange juice)
Vegetable oil for frying
4 cups (900g) whole milk ricotta cheese
1 1⁄2cups (190g) icing (powdered) sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1⁄4 cup (45g) dark mini chocolate chips
1 cup (240ml) double (heavy) cream
Stir in wine, 1 tablespooon at a time, with a fork until dough clings together. Note: I didn't have any wine in the house so I used half water, half orange juice and it worked well.
Form a ball with the dough and let stand for 30 minutes.
Roll dough almost paper thin, on a well-floured surface.
Using large cookie cutter (or the rim of a large mug/glass) (about 3-4 inches across), cut circles out from the dough.
Roll each circle of dough around a metal cannoli tube, overlaping the ends and press to seal, flaring out the edges slightly.
I didn't have cannoli tubes so I rolled up pieces of aluminium foil into tube shapes.
Fry one or two at a time in hot melted oil for approximately 1 minute, turning to brown all sides.
Remove from hot grease and drain on paper towels, seam side down. I found it best to put them into the oil seam side first to seal.
Let cool a minute or two before trying to remove metal tube.
To remove the tube hold cannoli shell down on the paper towel and carefully slide the tube out one end.
Leave cannoil shells on paper towel, seam side down to cool completely.
~NOTE~Shells can be stored in airtight containers and made several days prior to filling.
For filling, drain ricotta cheese over cheesecloth if ricotta is watery.
Combine ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until combined.
Stir chocolate chips into the ricotta mixture, being careful not to over mix.
For a lighter filling, you may whip 1 cup of heavy whipping cream to form stiff peaks, and fold into filling mixture at this step.
Chill filling for about 30 minutes before piping into cooled cannoli shells.
You may garnish the cannoli by sprinkling powdered sugar on top.
Keep refrigerated until time of serving.