“Leave the gun, take the cannoli” – such time treasured advice. I love cannoli, but they can be a mess to make as well as incredibly time consuming. So, when I saw these cupcakes in Theresa Guidice’s cookbook, I knew I wanted to try them. A fun twist on the classic Italian dessert, these cupcakes are filled with a light cannoli cream, then frosted with a delicious cocoa whipped cream frosting.
I was a little hesitant about the cupcake batter, where I’d not used yogurt in a cupcake recipe before, but they turned out great. A little bit of a denser texture than my usual vanilla cupcake recipe, but that was good, because it needs to hold up to the cannoli filling. These are adorable, and different, and everyone enjoyed them. If you’re missing the crunch from the shell, try garnishing with some broken up sugar cone pieces. Or, take the more traditional route and top with mini chocolate chips.
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup low-fat yogurt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup ricotta impastata*
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1-2/3 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips for decoration (optional)
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Put paper liners in a standard 12-cup muffin pan. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time, followed by the yogurt and vanilla – scraping the sides of bowl as necessary. Add in the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed for 1 minute.
Divide the batter evenly among the cups. Bake until the cupcakes are golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely.
For the cannoli cream: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the ricotta, confectioner’s sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Stir in the 1/4-cup mini chocolate chips. Transfer to a quart-sized resealable plastic bag. Using scissors, snip off 1/2-inch from a closed corner of the bag. You will use the plastic bag as a pastry bag to fill the cupcakes.
Using a small knife, cut a deep, inverted cone out of the center of each cupcake. Set cones aside. Use the plastic bag to fill the cupcakes with the cream. Use a knife to smooth the top of the filling flush with the cupcake.
To make the cocoa whipped cream: In a chilled medium bowl, combine the heavy cream, confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until the cream forms stiff peaks.
Snip 1/2-inch from a closed corner of a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag. Insert a large star tip (such as Ateco 825) in the bag and poke it through the snipped end. Transfer the cocoa cream to the bag. Pipe swirls of cocoa whipped cream over each cupcake. Sprinkle each with about a teaspoon of mini chocolate chips. Refrigerate, uncovered, until ready to serve.
* Ricotta impastata is an Italia cheese found in specialty shops. It’s dryer and lighter than traditional ricotta. Of course, I couldn’t find it – so I let a 15 oz container of whole milk ricotta set in a cheesecloth lined strainer overnight to reduce the liquid content. Then, I pureed it in the food processor for about 3 minutes to whip to make it lighter. Worked like a charm!
Souce: adapted from Fabulicious! by Teresa Giudice