This recipe is a problem. A big one. Do not make it ahead and do not, I repeat, do not sit anywhere near wherever it lands when served. Totally ridiculously addictive. At least it is for me. I don’t know. Maybe you have the strength to resist the incredible yet deliciously evil combination of sweet mascarpone, ricotta, chocolate, almonds and matzoh. I do not. Either way, consider yourself warned.
In my last post, I told you I was making a birthday cake for a friend with a layer of cannoli cream in the middle. I’ve been dreaming of a cake like that for a while. I always loved cannoli.
My sister lived on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx while she was doing her residency years ago. They are known for pretty amazing Italian food over there and back then, we used to splurge on all of it. My favorites, by far were the fresh focaccia and cannoli.
The rich creamy filling which was never too sweet in contrast to the crispy, bubbly shell sometimes dipped in chocolate on the edges or dusted with powdered sugar…heavenly. They always filled the shells to order, never allowing them to get moist from the cream. Some bakeries sold a large platter of cannoli chips with a big bowl of the cream in the middle. I loved the idea, especially for casual entertaining.
There I was with a lot of leftover cannoli cream and a lovely cake with just one layer inside. Keeping it in my house was not a good idea per above. I clearly have very little willpower when it comes to this one. Throwing it out would be sacrilege. I needed to make something crunchy to dip into it.
I tend to always have a box of gluten-free matzoh on hand this time of year. We don’t celebrate Passover but it’s usually on the market shelf and I love making this chocolate covered version with salted caramel. I thought the caramel would be too sweet to dip into the cannoli cream so I decided to simply melt chocolate on the matzoh and sprinkle chopped almonds on top. They add extra crunch and are a perfect flavor combination with the cannoli cream. I have no idea if this recipe is kosher for passover. Frankly, it feels pretty sinful so I can’t imagine there is anything religiously acceptable about it!
- Chocolate and Almond Covered Matzoh
- 6 large matzoh squares
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips, melted over double boiler or in 30 second intervals in the microwave
- ¾ cup roasted, salted almonds, chopped
- Cannoli Filling
- 4 oz whole milk ricotta, wrapped in cheesecloth or set over a very fine mesh sieve and drained overnight
- 4 oz mascarpone cream
- 2 tbsp confectioners sugar
- ½ tsp orange zest
- ½ tsp amaretto or almond extract
- pinch cinnamon
- pinch kosher salt
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips plus extra for garnish
- Lay matzoh squares on parchment-lined baking sheets, divide melted chocolate evenly and use a flexible rubber spatula to spread it on top of the matzoh to cover. Spinkle almonds on top and refrigerate for 20 minuted to harden the chocolate. Crack into bite-sized pieces.
- Cannoli Filling
- Using the whisk attachment on a stand mixer or a hand mixer, whip all ingredients except the mini chocolate chips together until smooth and creamy. Fold in chocolate chips at the end. Serve in a bowl, garnish with additional chocolate chips and chocolate almond matzoh for dipping.