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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Italian Cooking / Runny Cannoli Filling!
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    Runny Cannoli Filling!

    Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:35 pm
    Experienced "Head Chef" Poster
    Okay, I'm at the end of my rope with this. I've had so many problems over the years with cannoli filling, and I still can't get it right. icon_sad.gif

    The recipe I used:

    2 lbs drained ricotta cheese
    2 cups confectioners sugar
    2 tsp vanilla
    1 tsp orange zest

    Seems simply enough, right? Okay, first, I did take my ricotta and put in in cheese cloth on a sieve. I weighted it down with a heavy plate and cup and let drain for 32 hours. It came out pretty darn thick.

    Next I beat it for 5 minutes until creamy. So far so good.

    Then I beat in the sugar and other ingredients. Bam! Runny.

    Now, it's not *that* runny, but it's not thick enough to hold it's shape. I'm not sure what happened because I used all the tricks I've learned.

    At this point, I'm wondering is there any way to salvage it and thicken it up. I read a couple tricks involving powdered almonds or gelatin, but I'm worried about adding other ingredients not normally found in it.

    Could I drain it *again* on cheesecloth after already having mixed it all together, or would that not work? Any other simple tricks to make it nice and thick?

    On the bright side, it tastes awesome! Just not as thick as I want it.

    Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:18 am
    Forum Host
    I think it's the amount of sugar. Sugar acts as a liquid in recipes (think of it melting when it hits just about anything), so too much of it will make a runny filling. Look at this recipe for comparison - 3 lbs ricotta and 1 3/4 c. sugar, Cannoli

    I don't know how to salvage it, but what about using it to make a parfait - with crumbled macaroons or ladyfingers or angel cake cubes.
    Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:15 pm
    Forum Host
    I agree with duonyte, there is too much sugar in your recipe. Sometimes when ricotta is over beaten, it can become thin/runny.
    One of the cannoli fillings I make uses 4 Tablespoons of (regular, granulated) sugar to 2 pounds of Polly-o full fat ricotta. icon_eek.gif

    Cannoli Filling (#1 and # 2)

    Here is another filling recipe that I have used (which is not runny)

    3 cups full fat ricotta
    1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 square unsweetened chocolate, grated (or 1/2 tablespoon cocoa) optional
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    3 Tablespoons chopped citron peel
    3 Tablespoons chopped candied orange peel
    6 glace cherries, cut up (optional)

    Sift the dry ingredients, mix ricotta thoroughly with the dry ingredients. |Add vanilla and fruit peels, mix and blend well. (you can add some grated pistachio if desired). Make sure filling is well chilled before filling shells. Optional: Decorate the ends of each cannoli with a piece of glace cherry.

    I'm not sure where you are located, but if you can find "pastry ricotta" (its called Impastata ricotta) near you, it will solve your filling problems. Impastata ricotta is very, very dry, and very smooth (no graininess) - it has the texture of a solid block of cream cheese. It is the ricotta used in bakeries and by many home cooks that have access to it. Most Italian import stores and Italian cheese stores carry it, as do a lot of high end grocery stores. It can also be ordered online.

    I would suggest using your filling in a trifle.
    Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:24 pm
    Experienced "Head Chef" Poster
    Thanks for the replies. I did try to find Impastata (which was my first choice when doing this), but it's nowhere to be found in my area (The Poconos, PA).

    That's interesting about the sugar. It's what I suspected, as it was after adding the sugar that it became runny. But still, there is cornstarch in confectioners sugar, which I thought would help thicken it?

    I've made mixes with much less sugar in the past, and it never tasted sweet enough for me. I had one recipe that called for 1/4 cup sugar to 1 pound ricotta, and it didn't taste anything like the cannoli filling I'm used to.

    I think that's the most disappointing thing with this is that it tastes *perfect.* It's just not thick enough.

    So, in the future I will try using less sugar and hope for the best I guess.

    Any other possibilities in thickening after the fact?

    Thanks again! icon_biggrin.gif
    Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:26 pm
    Forum Host
    That little bit of cornstarch in the confectioners is to keep it from clumping. Remember that cornstarch has to be heated in order to turn thick.

    I suppose you could try softening some gelatin over water, then whipping it and stirring the result into the filling. You don't want to apply heat to the filling, it will get runnier. I've never done this, just thinking about how nicely it all whips when you are making marshmallows (with hot sugar syrup of course).
    Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:04 pm Groupie
    beat in a package of cream cheese or mascapone.
    Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:31 pm
    Experienced "Head Chef" Poster
    Yeah, I was thinking that. I'll give it a shot. Thanks again everyone! Hopefully my next time will be more successful thanks to all your replies. Merry Christmas!
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