Have I mentioned that I adore Cannoli? I first fell in love with Cannoli while attending an Italian Festival at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas. These were no ordinary Cannoli. These were genuine God Father Cannoli, made by the same man who made the Cannoli for the 1972 film, The Godfather. Hey, if you are going to learn to make Cannoli, why not learn from a behind-the-scenes Cannoli maker? He had a little booth set up at the festival adorned with pictures from the film of him posing with some of the big name stars. An older Sicilian gentleman, he was a talker, sharing his experience with anyone willing to listen. Imagine the delight of my friend and I when he offered to teach us how to make his Cannoli! I used to joke that I learned to make Cannoli from the Godfather’s baker himself.Now the problem with having genuine Cannoli is that these delicious, deep fried shells stuffed with the most luscious of fillings became my yardstick by which all other Cannolis are measured. The key to good Cannoli is that the shells cannot be filled until just before serving. The shells need to be crisp. The filling well-chilled and then piped into the shell moments before you take your first bite.
While Cannoli are a dessert, the clever couple at Two Peas and their Pods have taken this wonderful concept, given it a French Twist and much to our delight have legitimized dessert for breakfast. I’ve taken their recipe and doubled it. It’s an easy recipe to adjust and oh so delicious! What’s that you say? Someone at your table won’t eat Cannoli? That’s okay, leave out the filling and fry up a couple of extra slices of egg-dipped French Bread.
Cannoli Stuffed French Toast
2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream (or milk)
8 slices French bread
4 tablespoons butter
Powdered sugar-for serving
In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir in the mini chocolate chips. Set aside.
In a shallow bowl or pie plate, whisk the eggs and heavy cream together. Spread 4 slices of the bread with the ricotta mixture, about 1/2 cup per slice. Place the other slices of bread on top and gently press them together. Carefully dip both sides of each sandwich into the egg mixture until well coated.
On a flat griddle melt the butter on medium heat; about 325 degrees. Add the French toast sandwiches and cook until golden, about 4 minutes per side. Cut the sandwiches in half on the diagonal and transfer to plates. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.