Cannolo Pastry 101 | What are Cannoli? 

Cannolo Pastry 101 | What are Cannoli? 

Cannolo is a delicious sweet that originated in Sicily, Italy and is many Londoners’ favourite Italian dessert. And luckily, you can try a cannolo for yourself at Goloso Focacceria and Deli in Soho. The word cannolo translates to “little tube” in Italian, which references the preparation methods used by Italian bakers to make the golden, crispy, deep-fried cannoli. If you have a sweet tooth, this is certainly a dessert you should try! 

What is Cannoli? 

Cannoli is a crispy sweet pastry with a creamy filling and (in our opinion) delicious. They are typically enjoyed as a dessert around the holidays, such as Christmas and Easter. However, many people enjoy them for other occasions or purchase one from an Italian cafe on a trip to town. They are particularly popular as the pastry is deep-fried, and this contrasts perfectly with the rich, creamy filling. 

What is in Cannoli?

As mentioned, cannoli is filled with a delicious, thick and indulgent Italian cannoli cream. The cream is made with sugar, ricotta and/or mascarpone cream and is often used in cannoli, cakes and cookies. 

The filling is very rich and creamy but smooth and very palatable. As it uses ricotta and/or mascarpone, there is also a slight cheese flavour that is somewhat comparable to the creamy topping on a cheesecake. The filling is sweet but not overly sickly, so you can enjoy your cannolo without feeling like you need a nap after eating. 

You can also get flavoured fillings such as cinnamon, peanut, coffee, or dark chocolate cannoli filling. 

Our signature cannoli ricotta filling at Goloso deli is pistachio, as we believe the creamy, nutty filling is among the top-tier flavours for a delicious Italian cannoli. The filling is usually topped with a finishing touch, such as chocolate chips or pistachio crumbs. 

Where did Cannoli Originate?

We know cannoli originated in Sicily. In the UK, Sicilian cannoli have started to become a staple sweet treat, especially in areas with a large Italian population or many Italian food lovers. And if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, you can try Goloso, Soho. So with your best Italian accent, say ‘cannoli Siciliani’ with us and pop down and grab a cannolo to try for yourself. 

What is Cannoli in Italian? 

However, some food historians believe the word derives from the Arabic version of ‘tube of pastry’, and others believe it is a variation of the word ‘cannula’. Although the exact etymology of the word ‘cannoli’ is debatable, present-day Sicilians now associate the word ‘cannoli’ to mean ‘cylindrical container’. Therefore, whatever the origin, it’s highly likely that the meaning of the word refers to the shape of this dessert. 

Cannolo Vs Cannoli

You may have noticed us refer to these crispy desserts as cannolo and cannoli and wondered what the difference is between these terms. Simply, cannolo is the singular form, and cannoli is the plural form. 

How to Make a Delicious Cannolo Dessert? 

Cannoli tubes are made from thin sheets of dough rolled into a cylinder shape, then deep-fried until they are golden brown and crispy.

According to our top Italian chefs at Goloso, the most essential step in creating the tubular shape of the cannoli is mixing and then rolling out the dough during the preparation phase. This tricky phase sets the quality for the bake as a poorly made dough will soak up oil when it is fried, making it soggy. Then the soggy pastry combined with a creamy filling will taste like mush – not our preference as passionate Italian chefs. 

After preparing the dough, we will deep fry the cannoli to get the iconic crispy texture of the dough. Then we pipe in some of the cream fillings. Finally, we add some toppings to the edges of the cannoli, such as pistachio crumbs or chocolate shavings. 

How to Enjoy Cannoli 

We recommend having a cannolo as a morning sweet treat with a coffee such as a cappuccino (only before 11 am, as Italians don’t drink these after the morning). You can also purchase a selection of cannoli from Goloso in Soho to take to any event you have in the diary and shock everyone with these mouth-watering Italian desserts. 


How Long Can You Leave Your Cannoli Out?

If you have been to Goloso and bought your cannoli, you may be wondering how soon you need to eat it. We recommend eating your cannoli within 2 hours of purchasing, or you must refrigerate your treats until you are ready to enjoy them.

Should You Keep Cannoli in the Refrigerator? 

We recommend putting your cannoli in the fridge as soon as possible, so the cream doesn’t become runny or the cannoli contaminated with bacteria. However, the pastry may go soggier the longer you leave the cannoli in the fridge. So it’s best to enjoy these Italian desserts soon after purchasing, where possible. But you can keep them in the fridge if you need them for an event later in the day as a last resort. 

Where to Find the Best Cannoli in London

The best cannoli are made in Italy by Italian pastry chefs. But the next best alternative is the cannoli in Soho made by enthusiastic Italian chefs at Goloso deli. So now you know a little more about cannoli, bring your friends to our café in the best area of London and show off your new knowledge of these delicious Italian sweets. 

We hope this article has been helpful and informative, and please feel free to message us on the Goloso Instagram to share your thoughts on cannoli. Of course, we’d love to hear what you thought of our signature pistachio cannoli too! 

Published On: December 22, 20224.7 min readCategories: Sicilian Cannolo0 Comments

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