Cannoli Dessert Pizza and Chocolate Cannoli Pizzettes

Cannoli Dessert Pizza

Challenge #5 Prompt: One recipe, 100 variations! We’re challenging each of you to put your own spin on the same recipe. How you do it is up to you. Will you try out some molecular gastronomy techniques? Share a super-secret trick? Or re-envision the dish from a different perspective? For the purpose of this contest and challenge, we are defining pizza as having a solid base, a sauce and at least one topping.

For this round of Project Food Blog we are challenged to re-think pizza in a recipe remix. I brainstormed all week long about every imaginable pizza you can think of. And some you would never think of.  Like turkey, cranberry and stuffing pizza. Eww. Then I turned my attention to the dessert pizza. And the beloved cannoli. Cannoli dessert pizza was born.

Italian Cannoli Dessert Pizza

Cannoli, an Italian dessert pastry, are made of fried tubes of dough that are stuffed with a sweet ricotta cream typically flavored with citron, pistachios, mini chocolate chips, candied cherries or orange peel. Growing up in my Italian-American family they were special treats, reserved for holidays like Easter and Christmas.

Cannoli Fillings

The first thing I did was experiment with crusts. I made a giant, soft, buttery cookie and quickly determined it wasn’t enough like pizza. I moved on and made a baked crust out of cannoli dough but the texture was off. I went on a search for sweet pizza dough and happened upon Mary Anne Esposito’s sweet dough recipe in her book What You Knead. It was then that the ‘click’ went off. And I started to believe. I also found inspiration for my second dessert there, in her Iris cookies.

The sweet crust is made from a soft, buttery, eggy yeast dough that I found real easy to work with. Because of the butter, eggs and milk in it, a three hour rise is required, longer than traditional pizza dough, so it takes some planning. You also need to plan ahead for the filling which requires draining the ricotta of it’s liquid overnight or at least 5-6 hours in advance.

Cannoli Filling

Cannoli cream in Italy is made with very creamy, sheep’s milk ricotta, an ingredient that is hard to find here in the U.S. For that reason I use a mixture of ricotta and mascarpone; a rich, creamy, mild cheese you can find in the specialty cheese section of your market. The filling is flavored with vanilla extract, a small amount of cinnamon and orange zest. It is the true star of the show.

I made my own cannoli for this but I recommend buying the shells pre-made. They are time-consuming to make and because they’re not a central part of the recipe store-bought will work fine. If you do decide to make them, the technique I used was to cut them into triangles like tortilla chips before frying.

Chocolate Cannoli Pizzettes

To assemble both the cannoli pizza and the chocolate cannoli pizzettes the dough is cooked first with an egg wash that gives them a crusty barrier to help prevent them from becoming soggy. Once cooled the cannoli cream is generously spread over top, followed by the grated chocolate and the toppings. They are easy to personalize with your favorite toppings, pile them on or use them sparingly, it’s entirely up to you. The two recipes are interchangeable, meaning you can make either one into one large pizza or into pizzettes.

Italian Cannoli Pizza

Iris or Sicilian Ricotta and Chocolate Pies are typical Sicilian street food similar in some ways to doughnuts. They are made like ravioli with two rounds of dough pressed together and a filling of ricotta cheese flavored with orange and lemon, and pieces of chocolate. They are coated in crunchy bread crumbs and cinnamon.

I took the flavors from the Iris and made them into pizzettes. Tiny pizzas. Sugar replaces the bread crumbs and cinnamon normally found on the crust. Cannoli crumbs sprinkled over top fill-in for the bread crumbs. The cannoli filling is flavored with both lemon and orange zest. The toppings are a sprinkle of cinnamon, grated semi-sweet chocolate, cannoli crumbs and candied cherries.

Chocolate Dessert Pizzettes

Cannoli Dessert Pizza

Rating: 51

Yield: 1 (about 16-inches) pizza

Cannoli Dessert Pizza

INGREDIENTS:

1 + 1/3 cups ricotta cheese, drained overnight*
2 cups mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
orange zest from 2 oranges
1 egg, beaten
butter, for greasing pan
granulated sugar
Toppings:
white chocolate, grated, 4 ounce bar
cannoli shells, crumbled, about 2/3 cup
mini chocolate chips, about 1/3 cup
glace cherries, cut in half, about 1/3 cup
pistachio nuts, crushed, about 2/3 cup

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make the sweet dough, while it rises prepare the filling and toppings.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl use a hand mixer to beat the ricotta and mascarpone together until fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract and cinnamon. Beat in sugar a third at a time until thick and fluffy. Stir in orange zest. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. When dough is ready preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a pizza pan and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Roll out dough on a floured board to fit pizza pan or use Peter Reinhart’s method . Brush with egg wash. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown on top and bottom. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  4. Spread filling evenly over top. Sprinkle evenly with white chocolate, followed by pistachios and cannoli crumbs. Scatter chocolate chips and then randomly place cherries about two inches apart over top.
  5. Cut into wedges to serve. Keep refrigerated.
  6. *Drain ricotta overnight in the refrigerator using a mesh wire strainer set over a bowl lined with cheesecloth or a paper towel.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/cannoli-dessert-pizza-and-chocolate-cannoli-pizzettes/

Chocolate Cannoli Pizzettes

Rating: 51

Yield: 5 - 6 pizzzettes

 Chocolate Cannoli Pizzettes

INGREDIENTS:

1 + 1/3 cups ricotta cheese, drained overnight*
2 cups mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
orange zest from 1 orange
lemon zest from 1 lemon
1 egg, beaten
butter, for greasing pan
granulated sugar
Toppings:
cinnamon
4 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, grated
cannoli shells, crumbled, about 1 cup
glace cherries, sliced in half, about 1/4 cup

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make the sweet dough, while it rises prepare the filling and toppings.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl use a hand mixer to beat the ricotta and mascarpone together until fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract. Beat in sugar a third at a time until thick and fluffy. Stir in orange and lemon zest. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. When dough has risen preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a sheet pan or a 6-inch cast iron skillet and sprinkle lightly with sugar.Divide dough into 5-6 equal pieces and form into balls. Roll out on a floured board or use Peter Reinhart’s method . Brush with egg wash and sprinkle all over with sugar paying close attention to the edges. Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown on top and bottom. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  4. Divide and spread filling evenly over each one. Sprinkle with cinnamon and chocolate, followed by cannoli crumbs. Place a few cherries in the center of each one. Keep refrigerated.
  5. *Drain ricotta overnight in the refrigerator using a mesh wire strainer set over a bowl lined with cheesecloth or a paper towel.

Notes:

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/cannoli-dessert-pizza-and-chocolate-cannoli-pizzettes/

Cannoli Dessert Pizza and Pizzettes

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