Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rollin' With Cannolis...

I have a friend named Jennie who's a pastry chef. Have you got a pastry chef for a friend? You should. Because you get to spend afternoons like this.

Jennie decided we should all come over to her apartment to make cannolis. I don't know if you know this about cannolis, but they don't just come in a box. They take a lot of time and a lot of effort and a lot of sitting around eating deviled eggs and drinking whiskey while the cannolis take a nap or something in the fridge. Let me illustrate...

Here, Jennie brandishes her W├╝sthof, not because we need to chop anything, but because we need to show the cannolis that we are not messing around.

Next, you have to sift the ingredients to make the dough. And then you make dough patties and put them in the fridge.

Then you vogue a bit in your awesome apron.

After a good hour of that, you take out the dough and knead the living hell out of it. This not only makes it nice and pliable, but also works the upper arms a bit, so as to look fetching in aforementioned apron. This is part of the process, and it is very important.

Then -- and this is where we blow your mind -- you run it through A PASTA MAKER. WHAT? I KNOW. You do this roughly 654 times.

Then, you put the ribbons of dough in the fridge again and you drink.

You also have to work on the filling. Here, we see three pounds of a very special ricotta impastata, obtained deep in Brooklyn. I'm not entirely clear on why it was so special, but Jennie assures me it is "the Cadillac of ricotta," and I am in no position to debate her.

So you take the magic ricotta and you beat it with sugar and spices and whatever the hell else you want. We put some chocolate chips in one batch. And blueberry flan in another. I mean, it was getting WACKY. Completely off the chain.

Then you take a huge vat of oil and stick a thermometer in it and convince yourself that you are, in fact, sober enough to take this on without causing horrific injury.

Then you remember that you put strips of dough in the fridge, so you take it out and cut rounds out of them. Then you take your cannoli rollers, which OF COURSE you have...right next to your pasta maker, and you wrap the rounds around the rollers.

Then you drop the rollers in the oil, drain 'em on a plate...

Squish the cheese into the cannoli shells...

Dust 'em with sugar...


Then you take the cannolis you worked all day on over to Cobble Hill where a bunch of inebriated people with floppy hair eat them in about three minutes.

And that's how cannolis are made.