This homemade vegan Italian cannoli recipe will take you straight to Sicily, the mother land of authentic cannoli siciliani. Our filling is made of vegan homemade ricotta and is sweet and creamy. The shell, is every bit as bubbly, light and crisp as the traditional one, but without eggs, lard, or butter.
for the ricotta30mins
Keyword: Plant-Based, Vegan
Cheese cloth or clean kitchen cloth to make the ricotta
Pastry cutter or a sharp knife
Pastry piping bag optional
For the homemade vegan ricotta (you should get around 23oz / 630g)
Put the soymilk into a largepot and bring it to a boil while stirring. Turn the heat off as soon as the milk boils, then add the salt and vinegar.
Stir with a spoon for 1 minute, then set aside for 10minutes. During this time you should be able to see the soy milk curdle.
In the meantime, place a strainer onto a largebowl or pot. Cover the strainer with a cleankitchencloth, made of cotton and with a fine mesh (or a cheesecloth).Tip: make sure the cloth doesn't smell like detergent.
After 10 minutes, pour the curdled soy milk into the strainer.
Now wrap the curdled milk in the cloth, put a weight on top (like a bowl filled with water) and let it drain for about 15 to 30 minutes. Note that the longer it drains, the drier the vegan ricotta. I drain mine for 30 minutes.
After draining, the ricotta is ready to be used for both sweet (such as cannoli or pies) and savory (such as lasagna, ravioli with spinach, cannelloni, stuffed shells) dishes.
Prepare the cannoli shells
While the ricotta is draining, to a bowl, add flour, sugar, cacao powder, cinnamon and mix well.
Add softenedvegan butter (or margarine), the marsala wine (or sweet red wine), and the water. Mix with a spatula till you have a dough ball.
On a worktop, knead the dough ball for about 5 minutes. You should have a smooth dough ball, with a soft consistency, but not sticky. If it's too wet and sticky, add some flour to the worktop and keep kneading until it doesn't stick to your hands. Let rest in a bowl, covered with a plate, for 30 minutes.TIP: when resting, the gluten in the dough relaxes, making it easier for you to roll out, and lighter to eat.
Then with a rolling pin start rolling out the dough. Dust the worktop and the rolling pin with flour to prevent the dough from sticking. You should aim for a thin dough, of about 1 to 2 millimetres (0.04 to 0.08 inches).
Fold the dough on itself several times (5 to 10 times) before flattening it completely. This will make the cannoli shell lighter and full of little bubbles.
Cut the dough into squares or circles, of the length of the cannoli tubes.
Wrap the cut dough around the cannoli tubes, then wet the edges with some water before sealing the cannoli dough. Make sure the cannoli are well sealed, or they'll open up while frying.
Add the frying oil to a pot. The pot should be small, but big enough to comfortably fit one cannolo plus the frying oil.
Bring the oil to temperature. It should reach 350°F (180C). The best way to check if the oil has reached temperature is with a thermometer. If you don't have one, dip the tip of a wooden spoon in the oil. If it's starts to bubble, the oil is ready. If the oil smokes, is too hot, and it starts burning. That's not healthy.TIP: make sure the temperature of the oil stays at around 350°F(180C). If it's too low, the shells will absorb oil. If it's too high, the shells will burn.
Fry the cannoli, one by one. It takes about 1 minute for each cannolo. Turn them around while frying so that they cook evenly.TIP: if the cannoli break away from the forms, give them a squeeze with your hands to tighten them up around the forms, before dipping them in the frying oil.
When the cannoli turn light brown, take them out of the oil, let drip the excess oil, and place on a cooling rack on some kitchen paper. They'll darken when cooling.
When cooled, remove the forms and get ready to fill up the cannoli shells. Only fill up the shells once they are completely cooled.
Make the ricotta filling
In a bowl, add the vegan ricotta, sugar, dark chocolate chips, and a tiny bit of orangezest. Use a spatula to gently mix. Do not overmix.
Put the ricotta cream into a pastry piping bag and start filling the cannoli one by one.
Fill each cannolo from both sides, starting from the middle and moving outwards, while filling.
Dip one end of the cannoli into some crushed pistachios, and top the other end with candied orange peel, or half a candied cherry.
Arrange on a serving platter, sprinkle with powder sugar and enjoy.TIP: Use the leftover dough to make some cannoli nachos. Flatten it, then cut it into triangles, fry it, and serve it with a side of cannoli filling dip. See our variations section.