What an adventure we’ve had with this one. I won’t lie, it’s a time intensive project, you need some patience and special equipment, but these vegan strawberry cannoli are delicious.
We got the shell molds from a local home and hardware store nearby, though you can buy them online at Bed, Beth & Beyond. We did a lot of research into making these, and have a result to prove it. In fact, we entered them into a dessert competition at a native berry festival and won the judges pick! This was exciting, especially since we were bitter last year after not winning with our blueberry doughnuts.
We had some problems with the shells at first, basically they expanded and puffed up in the oil, coming unraveled. However, after letting the dough sit in the fridge overnight and rolling out thinner, we didn’t have that problem again. Another thing that may help if you’re experiencing this problem is to dock (make holes in) the rounds before rolling them around the molds with a fork, like you would with a pie crust.
For the Shells:
7 oz all purpose flour
1 oz pastry flour
1 oz sugar
1 oz shortening
1 Tbl ground flax seed
2 Tbl water
1/4 tsp vegg powder (optional)
3.5 oz dry Marsala wine
pinch of salt
Neutral oil for frying
For the Ricotta:
8 oz well pressed extra firm tofu
3 Tbl canola oil
2 Tbl lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbl suagr
1/4 tsp yellow barley miso paste
For the Filling:
3/4 cup strawberry puree
2 Tbl cornstarch
1 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
16 chopped strawberries
9 oz Ricotta (from recipe below)
zest of 1 lemon
8 oz cream cheese
- Make the egg by whisking the flax meal, water and vegg powder together, let sit a few minutes, then whisk again until thick.
- Sift the flours, sugar and salt together. Cut in the shortening till the flour is a fine, sandy mixture. Add the egg mixture and wine. Stir, adding just enough wine until you have hydrated all the flour and the dough is slightly sticky.
- Shape into a disk and tightly wrap in plastic wrap for 3 hours, or overnight**.
- Divide the dough in half, then roll out on a floured surface until very thin, about 1/16″ (I rolled it out until it was transparent and I could see the counter underneath)**.
- Fill your dutch oven or deep fry pot with at least 2″ of oil and bring it to 360-375°F.
- Cut with appropriate circles for your cannoli molds (we used 3″ diameter narrow mouth mason jar lids for our 5/8″ molds). Wrap around the molds and use some water to seal the edges**.
- Drop the cannoli into the oil and fry until it is golden brown, just about 1 minute. I used tongs to scootch them around so the cannoli wouldn’t burn on the bottom, or you could use a basket so they don’t sit on the bottom.
- Let cool on a drying rack and remove your molds. You can apparently store the shells in an air tight container for a month or two after they cool.
Methods (filling and assembly):
- Make the ricotta by combining all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth (it won’t be super smooth, but there shouldn’t be any big chunks of tofu).
- Now, take the strawberry puree and combine it with the cornstarch, cup of sugar and lemon juice and place in a saucepan. Whisk until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved, then heat, whisking constantly. First it will foam and bubble, then start to thicken. The idea is to simmer it down until it’s almost the consistency of jelly (not runny). If this is runny, your filling will be runny.
- Once the strawberry is thick and not runny, add in the chopped strawberries and let cool to room temperature.
- Whisk the ricotta, lemon zest and cream cheese in a stand mixer or with electric beaters until combined and then fold in the strawberry mixture (if the strawberries got too thick to fold in, simply heat it up for a bit until it’s workable). You can decide how much you want to mix these together, but I like a mostly white filling with streaks of red (see photo).
- Use a pipping bag to fill both sides of a cannoli, then top with chocolate or powdered sugar. You can dip the cannoli shells in melted chocolate before filling as well.