I can never resist a good ricotta-filled cannoli - light, crisp and airy deep-fried pastry shell filled with cold, sweet and creamy ricotta, and dusted with icing sugar. They need to be eaten immediately, otherwise the pastry will turn soggy. I haven't attempted making cannoli before, and I don't really see the need to since I can easily get them from any Italian patisserie. But I love the mild sweet flavour of the ricotta filling, so turning it into ice-cream sounded like an excellent idea.
You can make this without an ice-cream machine by freezing it and whisking it every half hour for 2 hours so that the ice crystals that form are kept small, which gives the ice-cream a smooth and creamy texture.
Choc Chip Ricotta Cannoli Ice-Cream
(makes about 1 pint, or 2 cups)
1 1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tub (250g) ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond essence
1/4 cup (40g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
2 tsp finely grated orange rind (optional)
- Heat up the cream, sugar and salt in a saucepan and stir until sugar dissolves.
- Using a stick blender (or food processor), blend the ricotta and orange rind (if used) until smooth and creamy. Stir in the scalded cream, vanilla and almond essence until well-combined. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.
- Churn in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Otherwise, place the mixture in a freezer-proof container and freeze for 30-40 minutes, then remove and beat/whisk every 30 minutes for 2 hours. When the ice-cream is almost set, fold in the chocolate chips. Freeze for another 2-3 hours until firm before serving.