Swirly Twirly Cannoli Cream

Growing up in an Italian family means indulging in Cannoli every major holiday. So this year, while J’s aunt and mom were putting them together, she researched a way to make Vegan cannoli filling. This spin on it includes some extra Nomz and way less cholesterol than traditional Italian cream. (Makes 4 regular-size cannoli)

1 large russet potato
1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp coconut cream
Pinch of cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
splash of milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar (+ a little for decorating)
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips* (1/4 for filling, 1/4 for decorating)
4 cannoli shells**

(Disclaimer: this may look long, but it’s super easy and actually fairly quick to put together!)

Preheat your oven to 425° .  Begin by scrubbing the potato under water and patting dry. Wrap it in aluminum and bake for 45 minutes.

When the potato’s done, scrape the inside out and put into a food processor. You can keep the skin to eat how you like (that’s why we made sure to scrub it). Run the processor until the potato is fully puréed. Then add the coconut oil, applesauce, coconut cream, cardamom, cinnamon, lemon juice, and salt. Run it a little longer to mix. Add in the splash of milk if the mixture is getting pushed to one side of the processor. Lastly add in the powdered sugar and purée until everything is mixed well. It should have a creamy tan color and have the consistency of custard when it’s done. vegan cannoli cream

Spoon out the filling into a small bowl and fold in the chocolate chips. The filling may still be warm so the chocolate will melt slightly but that’s okay. That’s where we get the swirly twirlies! Place the bowl in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes.

When it’s cooled, spoon out all of the filling into a gallon-size bag. Cut a 1/2-1″ hole in the corner to allow flow. For each cannoli shell: place the corner of the bag into each end and fill it up half way – stopping when you near the end of the shell so it doesn’t spill over.  Repeat for the other side of the shell; and then repeat for all shells.

Sprinkle the chocolate chips/chunks on each end of the cannoli where the filling is showing. You may have to pat them down slightly so they stick. Place them on a plate when you’re finished and sprinkle with powdered sugar for the final touch.

*Feel free to buy a dairy-free cacao bar and crush it up into small pieces. I broke mine up by hand first, then placed in a bag and crushed with a “cooking mallet” (meat tenderizers aren’t just for meat you know).
**A lot of shells are made with some dairy (butter and eggs), so be sure to ask about ingredients if you buy these from a market. If you want to make your own, you can follow this simple recipe from Food.com.

P.S. If you don’t feel like going through the extra steps to assemble the cannoli, enjoy this dessert dip with some crackers or pretzels.

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