A Boston State of Mind: Chocolate Dipped Cannolis

Plain and simple, I love Boston. I love the cobblestones at Quincy Market and the pretentious row houses along the Charles. I love the historic bronze statues and the benches along the Harbor; the way the ‘Baap Baap Baah’ never fails to erupt through Fenway in the 7th, and the way a random Bruins game feels like Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Boston is so much more than a city. Boston is a culture and a feeling. Boston is a state of mind.

During an Easter trip to Boston, my uncle introduced me to one of greatest treasures the city holds: Mike’s Pastry. At first glance, I was deterred by the 3 dozen people crammed into the quaint bakery in downtown Boston. Being the extremely impatient person I am, I took a pass on battling the crowds. My mother, the little powerhouse crowd navigator she is, swiftly found her way to the front counter. Within 10 minutes, she emerged with a white box donning the blue Mike’s Pastry logo tied in the signature white and blue string.
Within that box was a little piece of heaven in the form of deep-fried dough and heavy cream filling, dipped in chocolate: behold my first cannoli experience. Since that trip, every time I return to Boston I sneak away to Mike’s for moments of mascarpone filled bliss.

Alas, when you’re hundreds of miles away from Mike’s on Easter, you make your own Mike’s cannolis. With every bite I’m brought back to the cobblestones at Quincy Market, the deep accents, the state of mind: my Boston.

Chocolate Dipped Cannolis

Cannoli Shells

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 shortening
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 4 cups canola oil, for deep frying
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup Mini-eggs, chopped (optional)

Cannoli Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta, extra smooth
  • 2 cups mascarpone
  • 2 cups whipped cream, whipped
  • 2 packets vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 icing sugar

Assembling the cannolis

  1. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut shortening into mixture.
  2. In a separate bowl, add whole eggs, water, and vinegar. Add to flour mixture and stir until dough forms.
  3. On a floured surface roll dough until 1/8 inch. Cut dough into 4 inch-wide circles and place on parchment paper.
  4. Wrap dough lightly around cannoli tubes and seal just the ends with egg whites.
  5. Put oil in pot and using an oil thermometer bring oil to 380*. Place cannoli dough with tubes into oil for 2-3 minutes until golden. Do not put in more than 2 into the oil at a time.
  6. Once golden remove from oil and place on paper towel. Once cool enough,typically 1-2 minutes after being removed from the oil, remove the cannoli tube and place shell on wire rack to finish cooking.
  7. Once all the shells are made, melt chocolate and dip ends. Sprinkle Mini-eggs over chocolate dipped ends. Let chocolate set.
  8. To prepare the filling, in a bowl combine ricotta and mascarpone until smooth. Add vanilla sugar and icing sugar. Fold in whipped cream until combines.
  9. Pipe filling into cooled shells.

Tip: Only fill cannoli shells that will be eaten within 6 hours. Store all remaining shells in an airtight container.

Enjoy,

-Adele

Tales from Guinness: Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes and Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting

I had my very first Guinness at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland. For any of you who haven’t been on the Storehouse tour, they take you up a Guinness glass shaped museum/factory to show you the history and making of Guinness. There’s a water fall, a massive barrel room you can stand in, and a massive support beam that says ‘Everyone’s Irish on March 17’. At each new level of the Guiness shaped storehouse you get gifted a “sample”(mini pint) of Guinness, because why wouldn’t you? Needless to say at the end of tour, top of the glass, I felt pretty on top of the world!

As my friend and I stumbled out of the storehouse and found ourselves walking to Temple Bar in an attempt to find Dublin Castle, we decided that Guinness should be reserved solely for special occasions. And what is more special of an occasion to a non-Irish redhead than St.Patrick’s Day? Happy St. Patrick’s Day, you hooligans!

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes and Baileys Buttercream

 
Cupcakes

  • 1 cup Guinness stout
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 4-5 tbsp Baileys liquor

Assembling the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Line cupcake pan with individual cupcake liners.
  2. In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring butter and Guinness to a simmer. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. Let cool slightly.
  3. In a bowl combine sour cream and eggs. Slowly fold in Guinness mixture until combined.
  4. In a seperate bowl mix flour, sugar, and baking soda. Gradually fold into the wet mixture.
  5. Divide mixture into cupcake pan, filling 2/3 the way. Bake for 16 minutes. Remove from oven let cool.
  6. With an electric mixer whip butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add icing sugar and Baileys. Whip until combined.
  7. Place frosting in piping bag and pipe onto completely cooled cupcakes.

Enjoy,

-Adele