Cannoli cupcakes combine the flavors found in traditional cannolis into luscious cupcakes.
You start with a tender vanilla cupcake that is flavored with orange zest and filled with a classic
cannoli filling of sweetened ricotta cheese blended with chocolate and cinnamon. The cupcakes are then topped with a rich chocolate ganache, creamy mascarpone frosting, and sprinkled with pistachios.
This recipe adds a flavoring called Fiori di Sicilia. It is an intense flavoring that is a combination
of citrus and vanilla with a pleasingly floral aroma. Italians use Fiori di Sicilia ("flowers of Sicily")
to scent their panettone and pandoro. It adds a wonderfully mysterious taste but can be difficult
to find. If you can't locate it, simply omit it from the recipe ... the cupcakes are delicious either way.
(Makes 12 cupcakes)
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fiori di sicilia (optional)
1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 ounces (1/4 cup) heavy cream
8 ounces mascarpone, room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup pistachios, finely chopped
To make the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the orange zest, vanilla, and (optional) fiori di sicilia. Beat just to incorporate the ingredients. Add the eggs and beat until well combined.
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk.
Beat the mixture until a smooth batter forms, about 2 minutes.
Evenly divide the batter among the cupcake liners, about 1/3 cup per liner.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the cupcakes from the pan and set aside to cool.
To make the filling:
In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Stir the ingredients until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
To fill the cupcakes:
Insert a small paring knife into a cooled cupcake at an angle, about 1/2-inch from the outside edge. The exact angle isn’t crucial, but it should be around 45 degrees and the knife should go into the cake about 1-inch. The idea here is to cut out a circular cone of cake. Once you have your cone of cake, remove it and slice off the pointy end of the cone, leaving just the circular base (which was the top of the cupcake). Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the hole once filled by the cake cone, and replace the circular piece of cake (the top of the cupcake) over the filling.
To make the ganache:
Chop the chocolate into small bits and put them into a bowl.
Heat the cream just to a simmer or microwave until hot, about 30 seconds.
Pour the cream over the chocolate. Let this mixture sit for 1-2 minutes.
Stir the mixture with a whisk or spoon to combine into a rich, shiny emulsion.
Spread the glaze on the tops of the cupcakes with a spoon.
To make the mascarpone frosting:
Use an electric mixer to combine all the ingredients until creamy and smooth.
Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag; pipe onto the tops of the cupcakes.
Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios.
DESSERTS > CUPCAKES > CANNOLI CUPCAKES
FIORI DI SICILIA
Use about ½ teaspoon in a typical recipe for cookies, pound cake, pie, meringues, or sweet bread.