Liam’s Cannoli with Baklava Filling


Series 8

Inspired by a love of Turkish food, these cinnamon-flavoured cannoli are filled with toasted pistachios and walnuts – as well as the traditional mascarpone and ricotta soft cheeses.

Serves: 24
Difficulty: Challenging
Hands-On Time: 2 hrs
Baking Time: 8–10 mins
  • Ingredients
  • Method
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Step 1
Start the cannoli. Sift the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl and mix thoroughly.

Step 2
Combine the Marsala, egg yolk and butter in a smaller bowl, then add to the flour mixture. Combine to a firm dough. If the dough feels dry or stiff, work in a little water, 1 teaspoon at a time.  

Step 3
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured worktop and knead until pliable. Wrap in cling film and leave for 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4.

Step 4
Make the filling. Tip the nuts into separate baking dishes and toast in the oven until golden all over (they will colour at different rates). Cool, then chop to a medium-coarse texture. 

Step 5
In a large bowl, beat together the icing sugar, ricotta, mascarpone, yogurt and honey until smooth. Stir in the cardamom and orange blossom extract to taste, then add 250g of the (mixed) chopped nuts. Cover and chill while you continue with the cannoli. 

Step 6
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).  

Step 7
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 long, thin strips. 

Step 8
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.  

Step 9
Heat the oil in the deep-fat fryer to 180°C/350°F. 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.  

Step 10
Using the kitchen tongs, fry the shell on the tube for 1 minute, or until crisp and golden. Remove carefully using the tongs and leave to cool on the paper-lined wire rack.

Step 11
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.

Step 12
Fill the shells just before serving. Stir the filling, then transfer to the large piping bag. Tip the remaining chopped nuts into a shallow dish. 

Step 13
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.

Step 14
Sprinkle the exposed filling at each end with the chopped nuts. Dust with icing sugar to serve.