Holy Cannoli


On a recent trip to Dublin I was fortunate enough to take the award winning World’s Best Whiskey Visitor Attraction tour of the Teeling Whiskey Distillery . Built right in the heart of Dublin’s Liberties. The Liberties is a part of the original city just outside the castle walls were there were no rules and you were at liberty to go as you pleased. The area was traditionally home to distilleries, tanneries and candle makers. Getting here is very easy as it is well sign posted. I walked from Dame Street and found it no problem. I was on a mission to incorporate whiskey into a new recipe of ours and the Spirit of Dublin seemed just the ticket. Walking through the doors alone sets your olfactory system alight. The sense of smell is truly a special one. The tour starts with a bit of history and background to the Teeling Distillery and then its up close and personal with the whole whiskey making process. On my visit our tour guide was a very charming Venezuelan lady. She knew more history on my home city than I did, shame on me. She was very informative and an asset to the company.

The tour I took was finished off with a taste of 3 different whiskeys a Single Grain, a Small Batch and a Single Malt. All 3 are fabulous and made with the finest quality ingredients. I decided to go for the Small Batch as I felt the taste and after notes were sweet and floral. This particular whiskey is matured in Nicaraguan rum casks, which really aids the finished product giving a spicy vanilla taste. This was the perfect choice to accompany the dessert I had planned. The cannoli we made is our take on the popular Italian classic. The true recipe calls for ricotta cheese, which we felt wasn’t for our taste. So we replaced it with a creme patisserie. I guess we had the liberty to make the dessert we wanted to eat.

Ingredients for the shells:

280g plain flour

1 tbsp caster sugar

Pinch of salt

40g butter

1 egg yolk

60mls Teeling Whiskey Small Batch

30mls cold water

Canola oil for cooking

Ingredients for the Creme Patisserie filling:

4 medium free-range egg yolks

65g caster sugar

15g plain flour

15g cornflour

350ml whole milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

4-5 tsp Teelings Whiskey

Ingredients for the decoration:

200g Green & Blacks Dark chocolate 89%

Orange zest

1 tbsp of icing sugar

The Make:
To prepare the cannoli shell dough, sift together the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Chop butter into cubes and using your fingers rub the butter into the flour mixture. Now add the egg yolk and the whiskey and mix until it becomes a smooth dough. Wrap the dough ball in cling film and flatten slightly as this will mean less rolling later. Let it rest in the fridge for about 15 mins.

Now prepare the creme patisserie filling by whisking together the eggs and sugar until they turn a pale gold colour. Now whisk in the flour and cornflour and set aside. Place the milk and vanilla extract in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly. Slowly pour half of the warm milk onto the egg mixture, whisking all the time, then return the mixture to the remaining milk in the pan. It is important to slowly pour the warm milk onto the cold eggs before you return the mixture to the pan to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Bring the mixture back to the boil and simmer for one minute, whisking continuously until you reach a thick custard consistency. Pour into a clean bowl and cool as quickly as possible, by sitting the bowl of cream into another larger bowl of ice water. When cooled, refrigerate until needed. Once your ready to fill the cooked cannoli’s, stir in 3-4 tsp of Teelings Whiskey to creme patisserie. Fill piping bag with cream and pump into cooled cooked cannoli shells.

To cook the cannoli shells, heat the canola oil in a heavy bottom pan to 182 C. In the meantime, sift flour over rolling pin and roll out the dough until it is very thin (about 1/8-inch thick). Cut the dough into four pieces and work in small batches. Use a circle cutter approx 3-4 inches in diameter. Cut dough into circles 1/8 inch in thickness. If you have cannoli moulds you can wrap each circle around a cannoli mould. Use a little of the egg wash on the edge of each round to seal it shut and to assure it won’t slide or fall off the mould before pressing it closed over the mould. We used the thickest wooden spoon handle we had for this. Flare the edges out slightly from the mould as this will allow the oil to penetrate each cannoli shell as they fry. You now need to put end of large wooden through each cannoli to hold and submerge in the hot oil until golden and crispy. You need to repeat this process for each cannoli and set aside to cool on a wire rack. It takes a little time and effort but the end result is well worth the wait.

To decorate the cannoli shells, melt 200g of dark Green & Blacks chocolate over pan of simmering water. Grate the zest of one large orange. Now dip the end of each cannoli shell into melted chocolate and sprinkle orange zest over each melted chocolate end. Allow the chocolate to set before filling. Now fill the cannoli shells with the piping bag of wonderful whiskey creme patisserie. Fill the cannoli shells from both ends so the cream runs through the whole shell. Lightly sieve some icing sugar over each cannoli shell to give the finishing touch. To be eaten with a dram of whiskey.

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