Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Search for a Gluten-Free Cannoli

Last month, my daughter needed to make an Italian food to bring to school and wanted to bring cannolis. It was easy enough to find a recipe for the filling, but the cannoli shells seemed too daunting to attempt, gluten-free or not, so we went to our local supermarket and bought a batch of unfilled shells.

We filled them with a blend of ricotta cheese blended with some vanilla, instant coffee powder and powdered sugar and then stuffed the filling into a plastic bag with a corner snipped off for a makeshift pastry bag. Then we dipped the ends of the cannolis in mini-chocolate chips and Badda Bing! They looked rather splendid and I can assure that none were left on the plate by my daughter's classmates.


I still wanted to scout out a gluten-free cannoli shell recipe so I could use the leftover ricotta filling to make Dan some of these beauties, but I couldn't find any information on the Internet or in any of my gluten-free cookbooks, so I think the wheat gluten may be somewhat vital to the architecture of these crispy little tubes. Perhaps some Daring Baker out there would like to tackle this as a gluten-free baking challenge?

I did find some mention that a gluten-free pizzelle, a crispy sort of Italian fried cookie, might be a good substitute cannoli shell if rolled around a metal cannoli tube. Apparently you also need a special pizzelle iron to make these cookies, so I was further thwarted in my quest for a gluten-free cannoli, although here is a link to a pizzelle recipe for those dessert makers more stubborn than I.

All was not lost for Dan's sweet tooth, however, as I made him a different kind of Italian treat with some cannoli goodness: a Sicilian-style Cassata Cake. I figured a good, firm sponge cake would be an easy gluten-free thing to bake up, and it thankfully was according to this recipe.. I then let the sponge cakes cool and topped each layer with some of the coffee-flavored ricotta filling and there was a tasty, cannoli-like dessert for Dan, which he enjoyed especially over several mornings with his cup of coffee.

Now if only some gluten-free baking entrepreneur would manufacture a gluten-free cannoli shell that I could purchase through the mail and stick in the freezer to pull out as needed for my sweetheart......

7 comments:

gfgastronaut said...

I have been craving cannoli for months, there has got to be a way to make it gluten free!

Anonymous said...

DaLuciano's outside of Chicago offers delicious GF cannoli. I wonder if they would be willing to share the recipe.

cjlrx said...

We found a company called DeRosa Foods that makes a gluten free cannoli shells and gluten free cannoli cream. We get them from a local Italian shop. Their website is not completed yet but the link will be www.derosafoods.com

Anonymous said...

sherry lynn's makes cannolis fresh on fridays and saturdays

Carla Spacher said...

I am up for the challenge! I have been thinnking about experimenting with this very thing. I will post it on my blog if I have any success.

Just to let you know, you do not want to freeze cannolis. Moisture will soften them quickly. After making cannoli shells, leave them out overnight on a cooling rack and then store them in an air-tight container, in a cool dry place for up to 2-3 weeks.

Carla Spacher said...

I just made great gluten-free cannoli my first try! Here's the link to the recipe: http://carlaspacher.com/2010/03/23/gluten-free-cannoli-shell-recipe/

Just make sure you only cook for them for a minute or they will break open and not look so great, but are still edible.

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Recipe Box said...

If you're looking for the gluten free cannoli shell recipe I am in the process of moving my gluten free blog. You can now find the recipe at http://glutenfreerecipebox.com/cannoli-shells

If you could remove the link above I would appreciate it.