February 2, 2012 Ella

On one of out first dates, my “boyfriend” and I travelled to Little Italy in the Bronx, dining on eggplant parmigiana and cannolis.  Years later one of the best date nights I have had with my “boyfriend” was the night we went to Babbo. An Italian restaurant on the lower East Side owned by Mr. Mario Batali.

After a night of grilled octupus, prosciutto, quail, and lamb chops, we finished with a delightful bevvy of desserts. And we nearly fell off our chairs when I tried to refill my own glass of wine… and the wait staff dove over to replenish.   I guess we are are not as accustom to fine dining as I’d like to think. We spent a generous gift certificate on our dinner given to me by my dear friends Scott and Mel, an unexpected gift for the wedding cake I had made for them a year before.

Fitting…a wedding cake… as my “boyfriend” is no longer. Philip is now my fiance!!

On Christmas Day Phil, and I ventured from my parents house where we had spent a low key Christmas Eve having dinner with family,  to his parents’ house 30 miles north. When my parents mentioned they’d be stopping up for dinner that night, I was a little suspicious.  I know, after years of traveling all over upstate New York for the Holidays when I was a kid, nothing makes them happier than to staying home, vegging a little, and eating left overs on Christmas Day.  I had even mentioned to my best friend from kindergarten that I had an inclination that an engagement was around the corner, perhaps days away. Sarah, is still my only witness that I knew it was about to happen.

At some point after dinner, my parents arrived.  We dined –appropriately enough on ziti, italian sausages, mozzarella, and peppers. When, as I sat back down at the dinner table Phil, walked in with a huge wrapped box. He slid it across the floor when I notice there were a few purposeful holes punched in the top of the box.  Considering both my cat and dog were wayward strays until we crossed paths– Phil and I are in need of another pet like a hole in the head. I was so caught off guard with the prospect of a puppy or kitten I completely forgot that I believed an engagement ring was in my future.

“What is this?!?  There are holes in this box?!?!”  I kept repeating. I opened the box to realize hanging beneath the top was a large printed sign “HERES YOUR PET ROCK!!” it said. Tied to the bottom of the sign was a diamond ring. His grandmother’s ring. In smaller letters, the sign read “Ella Kathleen Golding, Will You Marry Me?” When I realized what was written on the paper all the family and friends, his and mine disappeared, and suddenly there was only me and him.  He was on his knee. “Will you? Will you Marry Me?”

I considered  no other answer.




We went out for a drink that night to the only open bar we could find and started making a guest list and writing down our ideas. We’ve talked about our wedding a million times before, but now. Now it was real, in the present, happening. I couldn’t stop thinking of our engagment over and over for the next few days.

Since then we’ve set a date and booked a space and have started to venture toward the great test of –not get married, but surviving PLANNING a wedding!! hahaha!! and NO! I will not be making my own cake….BUT I’ll have plenty to say about shopping for one!

That was my big New Year’s news! And for me at least, BIG it was!!  For my soon to be Italian  (and Scottish) husband, Mario Batali’s Cannolis. In honor of our first dates and all the dates that will come.

From Mario Batali’s Cannolis from Food

So before making these I checked the reviews of the recipe. They weren’t so stellar–so I made a few suggested edits to the recipe, as notated and have to say these came out WONDERFULLY. 

First things first you will need some type of cannoli mold.  You can buy metal tubes, or like me cut an extra large cake dowel (approximately an inch in diameter) into 4″ pieces.  I used this dowel as part of the legs of my last cake(pictures below), and as I’ve read using a broom handle is perfectly accetable for a cannoli mold. Wooden molds do have a shorter shelf life since they get so infused with oil in the frying process.

The next prep step is to drain your riccotta cheese using a cheese cloth. Its not listed in the directions but its a good idea based on the reviews. Wrap in 1 lb. Ricotta cheese in cheese cloth.  I placed my cheese on a grease guard screen you’d place over a frying pan. This was suspended over a plate to catch the drippings. I placed another plate ontop and let it sit in the fridge. I actually put a 1/2 gallon of milk on top to help the cheese drain faster.


2 c flour

1 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp cocoa

2 tbsp cold butter

6 tbsp marsala wine ( i ended up using 8 tbsp)

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, cut butter into dry ingredients using 2 knives…I used my pastry mixer like i would for a pie crust. Add marsala and mix to form dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refridgerate.

For the filling

1 lb ricotta cheese (I used part skim–cows milk, sheep’s milk was suggested)

1/2 c super fine sugar

4tbsp grated orange peel ( !!! Thats alot suggested!! I grated one whole orange and didn’t measure– it was plenty)

1/2c  mini chocolate chips

1tsp vanilla

1/3 cup lemon juice (!!!I used 1 tsp!!! 1/3 c will ruin your filling!)

Combine all ingredients for the filling thoroughly.  If you don’t have super fine sugar (also called castor sugar) or don’t want to spend the cash on it, Take granulated sugar and grind it in your blender for a a few seconds–its the same as store bought.

To Fry:

1 egg white, lightly whisked for sealing the dough for frying

2 qt vegetable oil for frying

Powdered Sugar for dusting

Roll out dough to approximately 1/16 of an inch thin (my dough was definetly thicker). Cut with a 4″ circular cutter or with a knife. Wrap around cannoli mold and affix edges overlapping with egg white. Press firmly to ensure dough will not unwrap while frying.

Working in small batches carefullly set cannoli molds into a deep frying pan. Oil should be heated to 360 -375 degrees before cannolis are dropped in. When golden brown evenly, remove and let shells drain and dry. To Remove mold twist as you gently pull away from the shell.

Fill shells using a pastry bag with an open tip.  Dust with confectioner’s sugar and Mange!!!

Heres to a very happy life with my sweetie!


Entry Filed under: Cupcakes

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sheri  |  February 3, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Congratulations on your engagement Ella! …and have fun with all the wedding planning! … Can’t wait to see pic of your wedding cake! 🙂

  • 2. Chrissy (The New Me)  |  February 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Congratulations again, and again, and again! I’m so excited!

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