Now, I fancied myself a genius of EPIC proportions when I came up with this idea all by myself. The best part of the cannoli is the FILLING, obviously, and those shells are more health-damaging than they seem, anddd the whole thing is difficult to make at home. Lots of steps. I still recommend them as a wonderful treat from a nice Italian bakery.
BUT. Wonton wrappers. What CAN’T you use them for? They do sweet, they do savory, they do fried, baked, steamed, boiled… And as far as “pastry” goes hey, not too bad health-wise. Cannoli purists might be like “well yeah, that’s a good idea as far as BLASPHEMY goes,” but like I said, I live for the filling, man…
It turns out that everyone in the world has already thought to make cannoli cups. Most with puff pastry or fillo dough, however, which I personally find less similar to an actual cannoli shell than a wonton wrapper, which gets crispy and has those little bubbles when they bake. But both alternatives would certainly be tasty. Google will show you some options for those.
I made my filling with the Italian creamy cheesy recipe that Giada uses here for these profiteroles, which is just one 8oz container of mascarpone mixed with 3/4 cup ricotta cheese (I used skim and it was fine), 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3 tablespoons sugar. This filled 12 cups with some leftover, probably enough for 18 total. So lemme get to the good stuff. These are quick, easy and GOOD.
Wonton Cannoli Cups with Chocolate Ganache
18 pre-made refrigerated wonton wrappers. In my experience, these are usually available on the outskirts of the produce section of major supermarkets next to other refrigerated Asian items and vege “products” like tofu or vege sausage.
1- 8oz (regular sized) container mascarpone cheese, available in the specialty cheese “stand” thingy of major supermarkets. Again, in my experience it’s always there but sometimes hard to find.
3/4 cup ricotta cheese (any fat content you prefer, the fatter the richer), near the shredded cheeses
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Mini muffin tin
Hand or stand mixer makes mixing easier, but not entirely necessary
Plastic bags (any size) for piping make it pretty, but not necessary
1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Put one wonton wrapper in each mini muffin cup. Folding them is fine, they’re thin enough to cook evenly any way you can shove em in there.
3. Bake wrappers for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
4. Combine mascarpone, ricotta, vanilla and sugar in a bowl with mixer or a wooden spoon and lots of gusto.
5. Microwave chocolate at 30 second intervals and stir thoroughly each time until chips are melted and smooth. Add milk/cream and stir until incorporated. You just made ganache!
6. Put cheese mixture and ganache each into a plastic bag and cut a small hole in the corner of each bag for piping. Or skip this step and just spoon into cups, which is more messy but still works, yes?
7. Fill cups with cheese mixture and then a drizzle or dab of ganache. It’s easier to do this when the cups are still in the muffin tin. Don’t worry if they’re still a bit hot, the cheese will melt only slightly if at all.
Makes about 18 cups. I ate 3 at once, that’s about the size of a regular cannoli? Maybe. Store refrigerated, but the crispy shells do lose their crisp, so you’ve really only got a couple days, here. Get to it!