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Any way to treat regular ricotta to make cannoli?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

I have made cannoli quite a few times, but I've always used regular whole milk ricotta. Sometimes I've strained it, but recently we've found a very thick and smooth whole milk ricotta (the kind in the regular plastic containers); still, though, it is never as smooth and I can never manage to replicate the taste as those found in bakeries here in NY.

It's not that mine don't taste good, but it has that distinct taste of ricotta, which you don't get with the ones at a bakery. Some might say that the pure ricotta tastes better---les dense or artifical tasting. And to some extent they are maybe right, but I've always wanted to hit it on the head.

Now, I understand that the bakery shops buy the impastata ricotta, which is processed differently. I've read that it is smoother and also has a different pHl, which probably accounts for not having that ricotta taste that I have.

Anyway, my question is, have any of you found a way to treat the regular grocery store-bought ricotta (which, as I said, is not bad at all, actually very good quality) to achieve that bakery taste? For my cannoli cream, I usually add powdered sugar to flavor, vanilla extract, some lemon zest or sometimes candied fruit, sometimes a pinch of cinamon, then the chocolate chips, and that's pretty much it. I've read some pretty exotic recipes calling for various oils (orange, lemon, anise, etc.) and various liquors, but I'm not sure if anything will ever get me past that regular ricotta flavor.

So if anyone knows any tricks, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks,
Joe
post #2 of 14

Canolli

First, ricotta - dry in a cheese cloth, maybe 1 hour.
Paddle on the mixer, add pdr sugar, zest of orange and CINNAMON OIL - a drop will do it. ONLY ADD BY THE DROP!!!!!

Add peel and chocolate micro mini chips.
Yum...:smoking:
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #3 of 14
Mind you I'm know dessert guy, not even close.

When I was a kid. I use to work at a place that would strain it and add Amaretto and sugar, and thats it? it tasted great
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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post #4 of 14
I make my own ricotta. I still always drain it over night in cheese cloth.

I then make the filling in a large robot-coupe. It lightens the filling up and makes it very smooth.

I use only cinnamon, 10x, candied orange peel and dark chocolate
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the responses.

I think I am going to try to drain it, even though it's very smooth and thick already (it's not watery really at all to begin with).

But, another thing I want to try to do is to run it through a strainer in order to try to get rid of the grittiness; that is to actually push it through a sifter or strainer. Then afterwards whip it a little.

As far as the taste, I think there has to be some sort of liquor or something being added to it. I know one video on youtube, which I believe was in Italian and looked pretty authentic called for maraschino liquor and some other strange liquor that's not that popular due to how it's made (and what it comes from), though I can't remember what it is.

Also, here, it's common to have little green bits in the cream. I don't think it's citron or candied frutta; perhaps its pistachio bits candied or treated somehow. But anyways, the cannoli cream has a pretty uniform taste to these little green bits (excuse the lack of techinal terminology:o).

You see, the cannoli here in NY, not sure about throughout the rest of the country, are really smooth, and have a somewhat heavy texture. It's pretty sweet too, like a lot of Sicilian pastries.

So, you professionals still don't use impastata, just regular ricotta? I thought most bakeries use impastata, because bakeries buy in large quantities and that's the usual if not only way, as far as I know, to buy impastata cream.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Another thing I see in certain recipes is orange-blossom water. I'm not too familiar with this, but I imagine it can't produce a much different effect than orange zest or orange oil, right?
post #7 of 14
Joey

You need to look for candied citron it comes in green or red.

It could be but I doubt it candied angelica.
post #8 of 14
The mystery ingredient in Canolli filling is cinnamon oil, NOT extract or powder.

Pistachio is a perfect component as well.
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
Reply
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
Reply
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well I will definitely try the cinnamon oil, since I've never tried it. Thanks.
post #10 of 14
The green bits are pistachio.

If you think your ricotta is dry, hang it in cheesecloth over a bowl for a couple of hours and you'll know for sure. You want a dry product, so you can control the moisture yourself. Water isn't much of a friend to a canoli filling anyway. Arrivederci furtiva lagrima.

If you want the smoothest texture, process in a robot coupe or other processor, then push through a sieve or tamis. Don't bust your hump trying to sieve it until you've processed it. Be aware that one consequence of sieving is that a lot of air is pushed out. Cheese (or anything else for that matter) that's been sieved is very smooth, but not usually very light. If you want light, you're going to have to process and/or whip some more to get more air in it.

Sieving is something that just screams "good cook," IMO. Good cooks sieve lots of things, careless cooks seldom do.

Too much air whipped in makes cheese cook dry -- so that's something to watch. There's a a tension between the qualities of smooth and light that you're going to have to fool with to find your own ideal middle ground. At this level of cooking there's no substitute for experience. That said, to me the fillings you're describing sound more smooth than light. I'd suggest keeping any beating after sieving to a bare minimum, at slowest speeds, and with a paddle but not a whisk. If you're still not getting the velvet you seek, try mixing by hand folding.

Requeson is Hispanic ricotta -- a little saltier, a little tangier than Italian. You may want to play with it. Or not.

BDL
post #11 of 14
interesting info for cheesecakes, but for cannoli it's not relevant because the cheese is not cooked.
I don;t know how authentic it is (i doubt it is at all) but for similar deserts using ricotta (cassata, for example) (but also tiramisu, using mascarpone) i incorporate air by sweetening with an italian meringue (hot sugar syrup beaten into beaten eggwhites). It gives a wonderful texture, and you can make it as fluffy as you like by adding more or less of it.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the different opinions, everyone; I appreciate it.

The cannoli that they make in the NY bakeries are pretty heavy. So I would say that I am more looking for smoothness, rather than fluffiness. But then again, I don't want it to be like cement either,:crazy:.

As far as cheesecake, I think sieving the ricotta would make it nicer, even though it may not be essential.

By the way Siduri, I was in Rome last summer, and had a nice time. We ate in a little trattoria that had pretty good carbonara, and decent prices. Ciao!
-Joe
post #13 of 14

Joey...if you live in the area where you can buy Impastata...get it...it's a different consistency and much better for cannoli...you won't be sorry...you can strain reg. ricotta all you want...but the other has a creamier texture...good luck
 

post #14 of 14

Very interesting views on subject.

 

Many years ago my Nonna Margherite, who was born and raised in Milano, Lombardia and co-owned a Trattoria in Manhattan´s Little Italy, where she ran the back of the house, and was Executive Head Chef. When she passed on, she had left her wonderful recipe books as part of a legacy to me.

 

Here is her filling recipe that she used:

 

*** Firstly, she prepared her own Whole Milk Ricotta

 

Ingredients:

 

2 pounds whole milk ricotta drained, beaten and blended

 

1 cup and 2 tblsps. of  Powdered Sugar, not Granulated regular sugar used for Coffee

 

1/2 cup candied Citron

 

1/2 cup candied orange zest

 

4 tsps. extract vanilla ( or cinammon if you prefer or Amaretto )

 

2 tsps. Orange Flower Water

 

*** Instructions for filling:

 

1. combine all the ingredients in a large glass bowl

2. Cover and refrigerate overnight to blend all the flavors *** Key to the aromas

 

Hope this assists.

Margaux Cintrano.

Margcata.

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