***THIS RICOTTA CREAM DESSERT HAS BEEN NAMED “NUBI DEL CIELO” – Clouds of Heaven” – AS A RESULT OF THE NAME THE DESSERT CONTEST. STEPHANIE WAHL OF ATLANTA, GA. WAS THE WINNER OF THE LINDA’S ITALIAN TABLE APRON WITH THIS ENTRY. THANK YOU, STEPHANIE!
When it comes to DOLCI, in our family, everyone’s favorite is CANNOLI. Whether dipped in chocolate or not, it is the one we love most. We love them so much that for my son Zach’s wedding rehearsal dinner, we gave the chef my mother’s recipe and served platters of them at dessert time with Prosecco. It was a sweet surprise for Zach as he loved his “Nonni’s” CANNOLI!
In my mind’s eye, I can still see my mother and father, Loretta and Attilio, spending an afternoon making CANNOLI shells. They wrapped the dough, which was not sweet, around metal cylinders and fried them in oil. During the frying process the dough would bubble around the cylinders and form these puffs in the shells that popped when you bit into them. After frying, the shells became very crisp and could be kept for days sealed in a dry place. The CANNOLI would not be filled until just before serving so that the shells would retain their crispness. There was something magical about the moment when we took the first bite. All at once, the mouth filled with sweet cream, chocolate, nuts, and fruit – not to mention the crispy snap of the shell offering an almost savory crunch in the middle of all that sweetness.
Often, remembering those days, and as a quick attempt to satisfy my CANNOLI craving, I prepare a form of the filling and serve it in pretty Martini glasses suiting the season. It is incredibly easy! To take the place of the shell, I like to serve biscotti, Amaretti, Florentines, or some sort of crispy cookie along with this dessert. A sweet dipping wine like Vin Santo is nice with the cookies. However, Moscato, Asti, and Prosecco are lovely as well. A hot Espresso – Troppo Bella!
Looking back, I never really had an official name for this dessert. I just made it, and we ate it! After deciding to write about it and share it with you, I thought it might be fun to do something a little “interactive.” So I held a CONTEST to name it! Fantastico! Name the Dessert Contest! The winner received one of my Linda’s Italian Table aprons as a gift! See our lovely model, Donna, wearing the apron!
RICOTTA CREAM DESSERT
(NUBI DEL CIELO)
RECIPE: Makes 4-5 servings
1/2 c. Heavy Cream Whipped
1 1/2 c. Ricotta – Mash and stir a little
3 Tbsp. Powdered Sugar
1/2 c. Dark Chocolate chopped
1 tsp Almond Extract
1/3 c. Pistachios coarsely chopped with a knife – not a processor which will chop too finely
1/2 c. Chopped Candied Orange Peel –purchased or to make your own I suggest following the Food Network Recipe
(Also see last week’s Step by Step post showing how to make candied lemon peel )
Whip the cream and then stir in the Ricotta.
Add the sugar, chocolate, pistachios, extract, and candied orange peel.
Spoon into glasses and chill.
I like to put a piece of candied orange peel and dark chocolate at the top for garnish. See photo.
You might like to dust the tops of the dessert with sifted cocoa powder. See photo.
Or – for a little change add sifted cocoa powder to the Ricotta mixture for a chocolate version.
Try drizzling some chocolate liqueur over the top.
It just doesn’t get any easier, folks!
PARLA COME MANGI!
Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography