Italian cuisine is internationally renowned for being absolutely delicious. Pizza, pasta, coffee and plenty of sweet treats like gelato mean that it’s impossible to have a bad time eating Italian food. A particularly delicious Italian treat which you may not have heard of is cannoli. It’s a bite-sized pastry shell filled with a creamy filling such as ricotta. Delicious, right?
There’s one chef in New York, however, who is taking things to the next level with a foot-long cannoli. Ironically, the biggest cannoli in New York is located in Little Italy. Gelso and Grand created the Holy Cannoli after the owner, Nima Garos, dreamt up the idea of creating a giant Italian pastry.
He enlisted the help of supervising pastry chef Catherine Schimenti to bring his creation to life. The first cannoli that Schimenti created was a little mild for Garos’ liking: “The first cannoli I made for Nima had the usual ricotta and chocolate chip filling, and he was like ‘Bring it up a notch!'”
With that in mind, Schimenti made a few alterations to the classic cannoli recipe. Typically, cannoli are fried; instead, she used a super-thin Italian waffle cookie called pizzelle. The waffle is then wrapped around a rolling pin to keep its shape. Schimenti likened the pastry to an ice cream cone: “Regular cannoli shells are fried, and you can still kind of taste that, even with the filling. This is more like a wafer ice cream cone.”
She also deviated from the typical ricotta and chocolate chip filling. Ricotta was replaced with matcha ice-cream, to which Schimenti added chocolate chips and Oreos. She also added Reese’s Pieces to vanilla ice-cream, and incorporated both ice-creams into the pastry. The ice-creams are piped into the pastry shell, but not before the shell has been dipped in chocolate and dusted with hundreds and thousands.
A few finishing touches are needed – matcha ice-cream piped onto the top of the pastry cements the Oreo placed on top of it, whilst more Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups feature too. This is not your average dessert – you need a mallet to break it open.
These foot-long cannoli’s debuted on Valentine’s Day this year, as they were marketed at couples who wanted to share a dessert. The Holy Cannolis have developed a following, however, with Gelso and Grand selling close to 30 of these desserts every day. Do you think you could smash this?