These cannoli shells are made with a touch of espresso and have an inner coating of dark chocolate.
Start the cannoli. Sift the flour, ground coffee and sugar into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Make a well. Add the Marsala and the vinegar and combine to a firm dough.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly dusted worktop and knead for about 5–8 minutes, until smooth and pliable. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Make the filling. Beat together the ricotta, icing sugar and mascarpone in a large bowl. Cover and chill until needed.
Pour the cream into a medium pan over a low heat, add the ground coffee and heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture boils. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for a couple of minutes.
Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream on top, then the liqueur and stir until the mixture is smooth. Leave until cool but still fluid, then mix into the cheese mixture. Cover and chill while you continue with the cannoli.
Divide the dough into 4, take 1 portion and re-wrap the others. Flatten the portion to a thick disc and run it through the widest setting on the pasta machine. Fold it in 3 and re-roll, then repeat (dust the machine with flour if tears appear).
Reduce the setting one notch and pass through the dough. Continue, reducing one notch at a time, until you have rolled the dough through the thinnest setting and you have a long, thin strip.
Place the dough strip on a floured worktop. Dip the cutter in flour and stamp out 10cm discs. Repeat with all the dough portions until you have at least 24 ‘good’ shells, with at least 3 or 4 extra to allow for breakages. Discard the trimmings.
Heat the oil in the deep-fat fryer to 180°C. Wrap 1 dough disc around a cannolo tube and carefully brush the join with a dab of beaten egg white – don’t let the egg white touch the tube or the dough shell will be hard to remove.
Using the kitchen tongs, fry the shell on the tube in the hot oil for 1 minute, or until crisp and golden. Remove carefully using the tongs and leave to cool on the paper-lined wire rack.
When the tube is cool enough to handle comfortably, ease it out of the shell. This is your trial cannolo. Use it to test the method. Cook the remaining cannoli in batches of 3, making sure the oil comes back up to temperature each time.
Gently melt the chocolate for decorating in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir until smooth. Brush the inside of each cannolo shell lightly with melted chocolate and leave to set at room temperature.
Fill the shells just before serving. Stir the filling, then transfer to the large piping bag. Snip a 1.5cm opening at the end of the piping bag and pipe the filling into both ends of each cannolo, so that it runs all the way through, but don’t over-fill.
Pipe a small dot of filling on top of each shell and place a chocolate coffee bean on top. Dust with icing sugar.