The Brellis House

 
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Vegan Strawberry Cannoli

Posted on July 15th, 2013 by Dan

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.

chocolate-dipped-cannoli-shells

strawberry-chocolate-cannoli

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.

strawberry-cannoli

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.

Ingredients

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

Methods (shells):

  1. Make the egg by whisking the flax meal, water and vegg powder together, let sit a few minutes, then whisk again until thick.
  2. 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.
  3. Shape into a disk and tightly wrap in plastic wrap for 3 hours, or overnight**.
  4. 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)**.
  5. Fill your dutch oven or deep fry pot with at least 2″ of oil and bring it to 360-375°F.
  6. 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**.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

cannoli-shells

Methods (filling and assembly):

  1. 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).

    Tofu Ricotta

    Tofu Ricotta

  2. 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.
    strawberry-jelly
  3. Once the strawberry is thick and not runny, add in the chopped strawberries and let cool to room temperature.
    strawberry-tofu-ricotta
  4. 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).
  5. 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.

Strawberry Sorbet

Posted on May 28th, 2012 by Dan

Late spring means local, delicious  strawberries in Maryland. For Mother’s Day we brought bread and strawberry sorbet to my sister’s for dinner. The sorbet was bursting with flavor, bright red and crazy fragrant. The texture was just perfect. It reminded me of the strawberry popsicles that we would get at amusement parks. Full of intense flavor, these homemade delights almost seem artificial, though they are as simple and natural as they come.

strawberry sorbet

This recipe is straightforward, from the Ezra Pound Cake blog, and very easy to make. As a reminder, the mixture needs to be cold before putting in the ice cream maker in order to get tiny ice crystals for a smooth result. I made a double batch for our dessert with 6 people.

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake (Gluten-Free)

Posted on March 18th, 2012 by Dan

I made these gluten-free chocolate shortcakes for my niece’s birthday. This was my first successful gluten-free baking experiment and tasted great topped with soy whipped cream and sliced strawberries. They’re more like biscuits in both recipe and method.

I used King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour Mix. It worked well, the cakes stayed together and were soft and chewy.

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcakes

Gluten-Free Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake

Makes about 15-20 shortcakes:

Ingredients

  • 3 cups gluten-free all purpose flour mix
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4 cup dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar (omit if using non-alkalized cocoa powder)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

Method

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, use a food processor or sift to ensure there are no clumps.
  2. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the oil and milk.
  3. Fold together until thoroughly combined.
  4. Scoop batter onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Make scoops a bit larger than the size of a gold ball and flatten in a patty-like shape. Space about 1 inch apart.
  5. Bake at 400°F for 7 minutes, rotate pan and then bake for an addition 7-10 minutes or until cookies are firm (but not hard) and not burnt.