Cannoli-Filled Cream Puffs

Classic cream puffs are filled with a Cannoli Cream Filling and topped with chocolate for a delightful dessert experience. These are much easier than they seem, and are sure to impress a crowd!

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Ciao from Venice, Italy!

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Well, I’m actually in the Frankfurt Airport drinking the MOST amazing latté as I write this, but at the time you’re reading it, I’m in Venice! These are the struggles you face when you accidentally book a connecting flight 3 hours after all of your friends. Ugh, life is so hard.

In the short hour I’ve been in Germany, I’ve noticed the following:

  • The guys are so sexy. European guys are SO sexy. I’m moving here immediately.
  • Everything is so sleek and clean! Like I will GLADLY trade in DCA for just a tiny corner piece of FRA. Please?
  • Big pretzels are everywhere and now I’m really annoyed at myself for eating a stupid packaged muffin and granola bar on the plane.
  • I’m going to gain 15 pounds during this trip - everything smells and looks so good!

But, enough about me! This post concludes my “make everything Italian before I go to Italy” recipe series. As a refresher, so far we’ve covered Tiramisu, Lasagna, Vegan Meatballs and Cannoli Cupcakes.

Now, I know what you may be thinking - “aren’t cream puffs a French pastry?” Yes! You’re so smart. However, I filled these with a mixture resembling a Cannoli filling - a dreamy combination of ricotta, mascarpone, and powdered sugar. 

Yes, I’m aware that I can’t leave good enough alone and it can be very annoying. Why do you think I’m still single?

Wait… on second thought, don’t answer that *face palm emoji*

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For more cream puff goodness, check out these Nutella Mousse Cream Puffs I made last year!

Cannoli-Filled Cream Puffs

To make these cream puffs, you will need:
Pastry
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 T granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- Pinch salt
- 4 oz flour (this is about a scant cup, but I recommend weighing if possible!)
- 4 eggs
Filling
- 16 oz whole milk ricotta cheese (I learned my lesson about using fat free last time - so grainy!)
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar

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We’ll start by making our filling! The easy part. Combine your ricotta and mascarpone in a medium bowl and mix together well - my mascarpone was nice and cold, so I opted for a hand mixer. Once that’s combined fully, blend in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, adjusting to your desired sweetness level. Cover this mixture with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until ready to use.

Next, we’re making the actual cream puffs. It seems scary, but I promise it’s simple!

First, preheat your oven to 425F. Heat a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat and add the butter, sugar, water and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted.

Turn the heat down to low and whisk in the flour a little at a time, stirring constantly. It will take some time and may seem to not be coming together, but keep going! You’ll get there!

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Once the mixture has come together, remove from heat entirely and whisk in the eggs, one at a time, working very quickly so that the eggs don’t cook in the hot batter. No pressure! Soon enough you’ll have a golden pastry batter!

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Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper and spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a circular tip. Pipe out circles of batter onto the baking sheet - size isn’t that important, but try to make sure that they’re relatively uniform! Once they’re piped, send them into the oven for 10 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 350F and bake for another 20-25 minutes. They should be golden brown on the outside and sound hollow when you tap them.

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Once the puffs are done, let them cool while you fill another piping bag with your Cannoli filling. I used a sharp tip so that I didn’t have to pre-poke holes into my cream puffs, but if yours doesn’t, feel free to just use your fingers (WASH YOUR HANDS, KIDS!). Fill your puffs, and then - if you’re feeling #fancy - melt down some semi-sweet chocolate and drizzle it over the finished cream puffs. If you’re in an extra cannoli-loving mood, some crushed pistachios would also be a nice touch! You do you.

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There you have it - a stunning dish that people will think you spent ages slaving away over, when it was really quite simple. Don’t worry - that secret is safe between you and me!

XOXO,
Jesse