Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Low Carb Cannoli Ice Cream

The lack of cannoli ice creams is inconceivable to me. Everyone loves cannolis, so why can’t I find it as a flavor on the shelves or in the parlors? Ben & Jerry’s had a flavor called “Holy Cannoli” that got sent to their flavor graveyard in 1998. They made a limited batch of a new kind of cannoli without the pistachios back in 2012.

Ben & Jerry's Cannoli Ice Cream Container.

There was another significant difference between the original and the reboot: mascarpone cheese instead of ricotta. These two cheeses are very similar, but I think mascarpone will work better in an ice cream. Ricotta is very watery and lower in fat, so it needs to be put in a strainer for days to dry out for making cannolis (or ice cream!)

This ice cream is probably my first that contains no heavy cream at all. I based this recipe from “The Perfect Scoop” by David Lebovitz. It was originally designed for crème fraîche, but he mentions mascarpone can be used instead. The vanilla and almond extracts are my idea since I always use them when I make cannoli filling.

Cannoli shells are deep fried, but will get soggy when exposed to dairy, so a chocolate coating ought to protect them. I don’t have a cannoli shell frying mold, but it won’t be needed that since I’m not actually making tubular cannolis. I lowered the frying temperature slightly since Carbalose flour browns quicker than regular flour. The recipe below makes WAY TOO MANY shells. I suggest cutting it half and forgoing the egg yolk. The dough should be dry, but workable. If you add too much white wine (like I did), don’t panic. Sprinkle some extra Carbalose flour on your rolling mat and the dough won’t be as sticky. The shells should be extremely thin lest they won’t fry up crispy. However, allowing them to cool in the freezer seems to crisp them up. My go-to flying oil is Spectrum Organic Shortening made from palm oil. However, pretty much any frying oil should work.

I left the stabilizer out of the ice cream ingredients since the mix is very thick thanks to the mascarpone cheese and 5th egg yolk. David’s version uses 2 cups (480 g) of mascarpone, but I refuse to buy a third container from Trader Joe’s for that missing 21 grams. Thanks to the mix-ins, the two 8 ounce containers are enough to make a quart of ice cream. If I were to do this without the mix-ins, I’d increase the almond milk and low carb milk powder by 50%. The finished ice cream is impossible to scoop straight out of the freezer. You will need to leave it out for at least ten minutes to warm up.

This is an INCREDIBLE flavor. You definitely need to try this one out. Maybe I’ll make it next time with pistachios?


Cannoli Shells

(Need only half recipe for quart of ice cream)

1⅓ cup (180 g) Carbalose flour
1 tablespoon Truvia
pinch salt
1 tablespoon (14 g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
½-¾ cup dry white wine
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
Shortening or oil for deep frying

Chocolate coating

¼ cup (56 g) Trader Joe’s organic coconut oil (use a different brand with less coconut flavor)
¼ cup (25 g) Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa
7 drops EZ-Sweetz
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (25 g)  powdered erythritol

Ice Cream

1 cup (242 g) unsweetened almond milk or equivalent
1½ tablespoons Truvia
4 tablespoons LC Foods Milk Powder (optional)
5 large egg yolks
Big pinch of salt
21 drops EZ-Sweetz
1 tablespoon (18 g) vegetable glycerin
16 oz (454 g) mascarpone
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract


  1. Cannoli Shells: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, Truvia, xanthan gum, and salt.

    Cannoli shell dough without liquids.

    Work the butter pieces into the flour until the mixture becomes coarse and sandy. Add egg yolk and enough wine to make a stiff but workable dough.
  2. In a medium pot with a heavy bottom, heat the shortening or oil to 350 °F. Roll the dough until it is very thin (about ⅛-inch thick). Fry the shell until crispy, 2 to 3 minutes.

    Deep frying the shells.

    Let cool on a paper towel then break them into small pieces.

    Fried cannoli shells.

  3. Chocolate coating: Add the coconut oil to a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup and microwave on high for 30 seconds. It should be completely melted. Add the rest of the ingredients. Use a hand mixer on low and then gradually increase speed until the ingredients are mixed. Make sure there are no lumps. Use a silicone spatula to scrape the bottom and sides and make sure there’s no powder or lumps remaining.

    Chocolate coating.

  4. Take the cannoli shell pieces and dip them one-by-one in the chocolate and put them on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat or paper plates lined with parchment paper. Store in the freezer to harden the chocolate coating. It won’t take long since coconut oil solidifies quickly. Transfer to empty ice cream container and store in the freezer.

    Chocolate covered cannoli shells in container.

  5. Ice Cream: Add the egg yolks to the 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup and let stand. You will need an ice bath for the custard, so prepare a bowl large enough to accommodate ice and the measuring cup.
  6. In a small pot, add unsweetened almond milk, Truvia, and low carb milk powder. Heat on stove top at medium heat until it reaches approximately 170 °F while stirring periodically.

    Heavy cream, almond milk, salt, and Truvia heated.

  7. Slowly pour the warm mixture from the pot into the egg yolks, whisking constantly.

    Tempered egg yolk mixture.

    Scrape the warmed mixture back into the pot and return it to the stove top. Put a strainer on top of the 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup.
  8. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. The temperature should not exceed 175 °F. This may take a while to thicken sufficiently.

    Custard thickened.

    Pour the custard through the strainer into the measuring cup.

    Strained custard.

    Whisk in the EZ-Sweetz and glycerin.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap, put the measuring cup in an ice bath, and chill in a refrigerator until cooled completely.
  10. Once cool, whisk in the mascarpone, vanilla and almond extracts with a hand mixer starting on low and increasing to high. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  11. Use a silicone spatula to remove the ice cream from the ice cream maker when it’s done and put into empty container. Start with a small layer of ice cream and then push in some chocolate covered cannoli shell pieces, then cover them with more ice cream. Continue until container is full. Freeze until solid.
Scoops of ice cream.

Scoops of ice cream.

No comments:

Post a Comment