Nutmeg Cannoli with Eggnog Mousse
The November 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. She chose the Italian Pastry, Cannolo (Cannoli is plural), using the cookbooks Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book.
As the holiday’s roll around I find that I want to use holiday ‘ingredients’ as much as possible. Athought I know that nutmeg is a year round spice I find that when I use it I think of Thanksgiving and Christmas. The ingredient that is truly a holiday ingredient is eggnog something I knew I had to use for this months Daring Baker’s Challenge. Since this round of Daring Baker’s let us have much more creative control over the recipe I thought I would go for a free form cannoli with some mousse between the layers.
I started making my dough with the flavours just as I wanted them and then I went and added the wine. I wasn’t even thinking when I decided to use Shiraz wine which then turned the dough purple. Even with the coloured dough it still had a great taste and a different look than your average dough would.
Having never done deep frying I was a little hesitant about the whole process. I knew that the oil shouldn’t get too hot and I had to be really careful when putting in the cannoli dough. Other than that I wasn’t really sure what to expect. All I knew is that I didn’t want to have a frying accident and end up burned.
Thankfully my deep frying was a success and I was left with squares of cannoli in varying size. They really did turn out great and had a little added something with the shiraz in the dough. I have come to realize that as long as you are careful with the oil, deep frying is not as scary as it seems.
Now we come to the part of the recipe that seemed like a great idea in my head but turned out to not to work as I thought. Having never made mousse before I though it would be a great filling for my cannoli’s and why not make eggnog mousse.
I figured I could take a basic mousse recipe and just substitute the whipping cream for eggnog, thinking that the fat content would be close enough for it to still whip up. I was unfortunately wrong and was left with a bowl of eggnog, sugar, and an egg white that never made it to soft peaks. It was at this point that I had to improvise and create my own version of eggnog.
After a quick trip to the store for some whipping cream I was ready to make my eggnog, or atleast whipping cream flavoured like eggnog. I added a bit of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla and was left with a very close replica of eggnog.
Mousse is something I can check off the list now, because it really wasn’t as hard as I thought it might be. My whipped egg whites turned out much better this time than they did for my macaroons last month. It is always nice to be improving in my skills.
After assembling the ingredients and sprinkling with a little powdered sugar I was left with a successful version of stacked cannoli.
Cannoli DoughCourtesy of Daring Baker’s November Challenge
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 cup wine or any variety
1 large egg, seperated
4 cups oil
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer or food processor, combine the flour, sugar, nutmeg and salt. Stir in the oil, vinegar, and enough of the wine to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and well blended, about 2 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge from 2 hours to overnight.
Cut the dough into two pieces. Keep the remaining dough covered while you work. Lightly flour a large cutting or pastry board and roll the dough until super thin, about 1/16 to 1/8” thick (An area of about 13 inches by 18 inches should give you that).
Heat 2-inches of oil in a saucepan or deep sauté pan, to 350-375°F (176 – 190 °C).
Cut out desired shapes with cutters or a sharp knife. Deep fry until golden brown and blistered on each side, about 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from oil with wire skimmer or large slotted spoon, then place on paper towels or bags until dry and grease free. If they balloon up in the hot oil, dock them lightly prior to frying. Place on cooling rack until ready to stack with filling.
Eggnog MousseAdapted from Katy at Sugarlaws.com
1/4 teaspoon cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1 cup heavy cream
Whip heavy cream with spices and 1/3 cup sugar until soft peaks form (err on the side of slightly overwhipped). Set aside. Next, in a medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add 1/3 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Fold together the whipped cream mixture and the egg mixtures (I folded the eggs into the whipped cream).