last night i was presented with a number of horrifyingly dull ways to pass the time…sit and read a tome entitled ‘marxism and the french left’, do some school-related things that are too boring to utter, re-read the american food blogs that make me mad and indignant, indulge in voyeuristic facebook related activities and numb my ever diminishing humanity, or dematerialise into the void between four computer screens. so the only real option then, as far as i was aware, was to make some cannoli. this recipe was taught to me by the master giorgio locatelli…and from my first sighting (and subsequent eating) it was burned into my minds eye. and last night it flashed in front of me…like a dream recalled. actually these arent quite cannoli…because not even i am prepared to use lard and/or (probably or) duck fat. i would re-title it walnut tuiles with marscapone but that just sounds like a lot of wank. so cannoli. with marscapone. very very lovely indeed.
4 egg whites
190g walnuts ground
tsp (or 6) of vanilla
20g icing sugar
(also optional, i added a shot of espresso and i feel some shards of chocolate would have been a very elegant solution to the problem of a complete absence of chocolate. alternatively some candied peel because, while i find it to be deeply offensive to my tastebuds, i do recognise its place in the world and mostly in the world of cream which needs an edge. some chopped walnuts, mixed into the marscapone, would be good too to echo whats going on around it.)
first melt the butter. then beat the eggs and sugar. slowly add the flour and beat well for about 5 minutes until thick and creamy looking. slowly drizzle in the melted butter. finally add the vanilla and the walnuts and mix to combine. cover this with glad wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours (preferably over night).
to make the filling, mix the marscapone with the vanilla and the sugar.
if you are using some espresson just add a few tsps of a shot to the mix and stir to combine. cover and put in the fridge until you need it.
preheat the oven to 180 degrees. the cooking requires some craft work…not my thing but its just cutting a whole in a piece of cardboard, about 12ish cm in diameter. place the cardboard circle down on a baking tray lined with baking paper and spread very very thinly the walnut mix in the middle of the circle. (spread it so thinly that you can see the baking paper through it).
put the tray in the oven for about 8-10 minutes until lightly brown. as soon as they are out you need to roll them up. you can wrap them around the handle of a wooden spoon. if you got those fingers that can touch fire then just roll them up with your hands. they need to be rolled when they are still very hot, because as soon as they start to cool they will harden.
then put your marscapone mix into a piping bag and pipe it into the centre.
p.s. i also made some chocolate ones. i made it up as i went along so im not too sure what i did…its all a bit of a dark brown chocolatey blur. but i melted 100g of chocolate and a few knobs of butter to make a chocolate gnache. then i simply and gleefully mixed that through the marscapone mix.
actually if i had my time again i would have added equal chocolate to marscapone. it was too subtle a chocolate taste. but after eating a block of it during the journey, that may well have been a good thing