I saw some regular cannoli in a bakery decorated so elegantly that my first thought was that I just had to make a gluten free version! They were filled with mascarpone cheese, which is a sweetened Italian cream cheese. The one thing I will never order in a bakery is pre-filled cannoli, as sitting there just makes the cannoli shell soft. Ordering ahead of time is the only way to go, but making them from scratch is even better. If you’re considering skipping the chocolate dipping step, consider that when dipped in chocolate cannoli stand up properly, instead of rolling over when served or displayed. Enjoy these luscious gluten free cannoli!
1 lb. Nestle's Natural Dark Chocolate Morsels, divided
2 Tablespoons shortening (palm or vegetable)
For the White Icing
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Enough water to create a drizzle consistency
For Optional White Drizzle
White chocolate (optional to icing)
Once you've made your cannoli, line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
Add mascarpone to the bowl of your mixer; mix until creamy, about 1 minute.
Add sugar and vanilla and whip until fluffy; cover and refrigerate.
Melt half the chocolate morsels in a glass or heatproof bowl over a sauce pan of boiling water which has been lowered to a simmer; remove from heat; and allow to cool a minute or two. If you cool it too much, just remelt.
With the bowl left in the sauce pan, dip half of each cannoli shell into the melted chocolate at an angle, top side down. This will create the angle of chocolate, as seen in the photo above. Allow any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl; set on the lined baking sheet to dry.
If you have only used half of the chocolate, add the shortening to the chocolate; place the pan and bowl back on the stove (use 1 tablespoon of shortening per 1/4 lb./1/2 cup morsels); and once melted pour it into container lined with foil or parchment paper. For cannoli, you want tiny curls, therefore, ensure you do not fill it higher than the width you desire your curls to be. If you need to use more than one container, do so. Four inch square containers work well, or a rectangle one that is 4" wide. Refrigerate until firm.
To make the white icing for garnish, add the powdered sugar and vanilla to your mixing bowl; while mixer is running on low speed, slowly pour in water. Once the powder is all moistened, beat on high until it reaches a drizzle consistency. Or as an option you may melt white chocolate as you did above for the dark chocolate. Drizzle over each cannoli, mainly on the chocolate dipped end, using a plastic drizzle bottle, similar to a ketchup or mustard bottle. They are available through
Using a potato peeler, peel the narrow edges from one end to as long as you wish your curls to be, small in this case. The curls will naturally form. If the strips of chocolate begin to break, they are too cold. Just allow them to reach closer to room temperature, but not quite.
Using a pastry bag and a large star tip, or ziplock bag with the tip cut off, fill the cannoli shells from both ends, right before serving. If using a star tip, finish off with a small size tip for decorating the ends. This will create more of an aesthetic design. Optionally, if you're going to use a lot of chocolate curls or mini chips, it is not necessary.
Garnish with either chocolate curls or mini chocolate chips.
*BelGioioso brand is gluten free, as are all their cheeses. Mascarpone may be found in most grocery store chains near the gourmet cheese.
**There is an organic powdered sugar made from evaporated cane juice which may be used as a substitute. Trader Joe's makes one. It is made with tapioca starch instead of cornstarch.
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