A confectionary tale of do's and don'ts. My journey is to cake perfection. Here's how I'm getting there!
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Recently I was talking to a friend who had asked me if I had ever made or heard of a cannoli cake. I had not! Intrigued by the prospect of new territory I decided to tackle the cannoli cake. At this point, I wasn't even sure if such a thing existed. I'm proud to say there is now!
First things first, I attempted yet another version of the illusive perfect cake. This one turned out good, maybe even my favorite so far.
Instead of any egg yolks I used just 2 whole eggs, it got rid of the overly eggy flavor. Without the extra yolks the color did not reach the yellowy tint of yellow cake, although for the improved flavor I'm willing to bake a whiter cake.
1 1/2 cups Cake Flour
3/4 cup Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
3 tbl Softened Butter
2tbl Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Whole Milk
2 Whole Eggs
Mix the dry ingedients together. On medium speed blend in the softened butter, oil, and all but 2 tbl of the whole milk. Mix for 2 minutes. Add the remaining milk to the eggs and beat slighlty. Add the egg and milk to the cake batter in 2 batches, mixing 1 minute between and scraping the bowl between. Pour into an oiled 9" square pan. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes turning once 1/2 way. Cool for 5 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. (I did this twice with my one square pan,
if you have two double it all!)
With the cake baked and cooled I trimmed the square down to a two person friendly 9ish x 6ish rectangle. The scrapes got wrapped and stuffed in the freezer for another day Seeing that some of my other cakes were a little dry after they sat for the day between making and eating I opted to try using a simple sryup to keep the layers moist. I cut each layer in 1/2 so I would have 4 layers total.
Each layer got sprinkled with simple orange syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Heat until the sugar melts, cool completely, add juice
and zest of one orange.
The layers then were spread with ricotta filling.
2 cups Ricotta cheese
3 tbs Powdered sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla
(The cannoli blog <I'll mention it in a sec> swears only by granulated sugar in ricotta filling to give it texture.. although I like the smoothness of powdered sugar)
Quick crumb coat of my all purpose frosting, and swirly layers finished it off.....
Well rewind a little to the
the Cannoli's! The dough came together quick. (I used the recipe straight from the back of my Ateco Cannoli Forms...
( This is a blog about making the Perfect Cannoli... Lots of great tips... Maybe the Italian grandma here worked for Ateco...same recipe.)
After a couple test runs I found that I preferred the dough to be about 1/16"ish thick. I cut the mini cannolis out with the rim of a water glass, taking extra care to seal the edges tightly with eggwhites. Into the oil they went. If you use a thermometer you'll want the oil right about 325F if you don't have one, heat it on medium high for about 3 minutes then test bit of batter.. if it bubbles and browns you're ready to go. (Be careful the metal forms, expectedly, get very hot)
I filled the cannolis with the same ricotta filling. The left over dough I cooked, crunched up and used it as garnish for the sides of the cake. Top the cannolis off with some mini chocolate chips and they are a success. The cannoli cake will last quite a few days, although over night the filled cannolis were softer and chewier than I had wanted. (First time cannolier mistake I suppose) If you will be enjoying the canolis in the days to come, keep some shells covered at room temperature and the filling in the fridge. Fill as you go and they'll be perfect!