Spring in Sicily
Simon Griffiths

Cannoli are a Sicilian classic and well known all over the world. No Godfather film would be complete without at least one scene containing this delicious pastry!

For this recipe you will need to buy special metal cylinders (readily available from specialist cookware shops) to form the pastry tubes.



Quantity Ingredient
25g unsalted butter, at room temperature
150g self-raising flour
1 organic egg, separated
1 tablespoon caster sugar
80ml dry marsala
pinch salt
2 tablespoons bitter cocoa powder
sunflower oil, for frying
icing sugar, for dusting


Quantity Ingredient
250g fresh ricotta
125g icing sugar
30g dark chocolate, chopped small
1 organic lemon, finely zested
1 organic orange, finely zested


  1. To make the pastry, put the butter, flour, egg yolk, sugar, Marsala, salt and cocoa powder into a food processor and pulse to form a dough. It will be smooth and firm, similar to pasta dough. Form it into a ball and let it rest, covered with a cloth, for about 1 hour. While the dough is resting, make the ricotta filling. Whisk the ricotta with the sugar until it is light and fluffy. Mix in the chocolate and citrus zests, then refrigerate until needed.
  2. Roll the pastry out to about 3 mm thick (I find it easiest to feed it through a pasta machine). Cut the pastry into 8 cm squares and lay them out on a floured work surface.
  3. Brush the metal cannoli cylinders lightly with oil. Wrap a piece of pastry on the diagonal around each cylinder. Use the egg white leftover from making the pastry to moisten the edges where they overlap, and press them together gently to seal.
  4. Pour the sunflower oil into a medium-sized saucepan to a depth of around 6 cm. When the oil is hot, fry the cannoli in batches of 3 until golden brown. Drain well on kitchen paper and slide them off the metal cylinders while still warm.
  5. When the cannoli are completely cold, spoon the ricotta filling into a piping bag and fill the cannoli shells generously. Dust with icing sugar and serve. They are best eaten on the day they are made.
Spring in Sicily
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