Forming and Frying Cannoli Shells

Mario Batali demonstrates how to form and fry the shells for chocolate chip-orange cannoli, a dessert that's part of his Italian Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes menu.

Released on 12/19/2008

Credits

Starring: Mario Batali

Transcript

00:00
(upbeat music)
00:08
Hello, my name is Mario Batali and we are Making
00:10
some of the dishes of the feast of the seven fishes.
00:14
I'm making cannoli right now.
00:15
I've made the dough, and now I have it.
00:17
It's rested, it's cooled, it's been sitting
00:19
in the refrigerator, and now what you want
00:21
to do is roll it out.
00:23
Now whether it's too thin or too thick
00:25
is a personal choice.
00:26
I like them relatively thin and I like
00:27
them very, very crisp.
00:29
If you've ever had cannoli in a little Italy
00:31
in a town near you, the problem with most
00:34
cannolis is that they'll make them
00:35
and they'll stuff them and then allow them to rest.
00:39
The trick to the great cannoli stores,
00:41
and to the great cannoli eaters,
00:43
is to make the shells and then allow them
00:46
to rest at room temperature, and then fill them
00:49
immediately before you serve them,
00:51
and that way they're going to be crisp and crunchy
00:54
while the inside retains its succulence and deliciousness.
00:58
I'm gonna roll it out relatively thin,
01:00
that is to say probably around 1/8 of an inch
01:05
and then we're going to just simply
01:06
cut them with a ring mold.
01:07
You could cut them into squares, it would just
01:10
make it a little bit different shape
01:11
when it's finally done.
01:13
So I'm going to take 'em like that,
01:14
and we'll cut like so.
01:17
And cut like so.
01:19
And the only game that you really
01:20
have to worry about is getting these cannoli molds,
01:22
then you wrap it around the mold
01:24
and then right before it hits where the actual
01:28
pieces come together, you brush it with a little egg wash.
01:32
If it were to explode and come apart,
01:35
it wouldn't be that big of a problem,
01:38
but because we're trying to be perfect
01:39
and we're trying to make 'em like grandma would,
01:41
we're going to actually use my finger just like so
01:44
and push it together so that it comes in like that.
01:47
Then we're just going to drop it in the oil.
01:50
So now I'm going to do that for four of these.
01:54
I'm gonna wrap like so, again bring it together
01:57
using the egg white to seal, and pushing around like so
02:01
and then really spending just that extra second there
02:05
to make sure that it actually fuses together
02:09
to become one unique piece.
02:13
Now my oil is at about 375, it's rare
02:17
that you'll have it too high.
02:20
If it does start to smoke, it means either
02:22
you're using too fancy an oil, or your heat is too high.
02:25
If you have the thermometer in there
02:26
and it's anywhere from 360 to 385, you're in good shape.
02:33
So again, just rolling it around.
02:35
Keep in mind this works a lot easier
02:36
if it's cool, so don't allow this dough
02:38
to sit out too long, because as it gets warmer,
02:42
as it approaches room temperature,
02:43
it becomes a lot more fragile and harder to work with.
02:46
Which may mean you have just something a little
02:48
bit more explosive.
02:51
So then we're going to drop the last one in.
02:53
We're going to cook them all the way through
02:56
until they're crispy and golden brown.
02:58
That should take at that 375, 380 range
03:01
probably about a minute.
03:03
You cannot really overcook them so it's better
03:05
to leave them in an extra 10 seconds
03:07
than to take them out 10 seconds short,
03:09
unless it looks like they're burning
03:10
in which case your oil's insanely hot
03:12
and it's already a problem.
03:13
So now we're going to take a look at this one,
03:15
the first one that went in.
03:18
And I'm just gonna pull it out
03:19
and what you want to do is put it right
03:21
onto something whether a paper towel
03:22
or a cloth towel, because you want it to just drain.
03:26
The oil is delicious, but it needs
03:29
to also just come off there.
03:33
Now we're looking relatively great.
03:36
Sometimes you'll see in some of the other style
03:38
little Italys which is to say the
03:40
Italian-American little Italys,
03:41
they make them relatively large
03:43
like a giant sub sandwich.
03:45
This is the right size.
03:47
You want them to be literally two or three bites,
03:49
four if you're dainty, one if you're hungry.
03:53
The size is key, the whole idea behind this dish
03:55
is making sure you understand the balance
03:57
between the crispy cookie part and the creamy filling.
04:00
You couldn't go either way.
04:01
You don't want it to have too little filling,
04:03
or too much cookie or too little of either side
04:05
'cause in fact then the balance
04:07
and the deliciousness of the dish becomes a travesty.
04:11
So there you have it, now we've actually
04:12
fried our cannoli shells.
04:14
In the next video we're going to show you
04:16
how to make the filling, and then make the dessert.
04:19
(upbeat music)