Gina DePalma, the pastry chef at Babbo in New York City, makes incredible cannoli: delicate, crisp pastries subtly flavored with orange and filled with silky, coffee-spiked mascarpone. They're easy to make, too, because DePalma uses crunchy tuile cookies rather than classic deep-fried shells. And if you don't want to buy a mold to form the cookies into little tubes, you can shape the soft tuiles over the neck of a wine bottle instead.
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4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup mascarpone
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure coffee extract
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 375°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Trace three 4-inch circles on each with a pencil; turn the parchment over.
In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with 1/3 cup of the sugar until fluffy. Add the egg whites and beat until blended. Add the flour, orange zest, 1/4 teaspoon of the vanilla and the salt and beat until smooth.
Using a small offset spatula, evenly spread 1 tablespoon of the batter into each circle. Bake the cookies, 1 sheet at a time, for 8 to 9 minutes, or until lightly golden and browned around the edges. Immediately roll each cookie around a 1-inch-wide tube or dowel and let cool until crisp. Carefully remove the cannoli from the tubes and transfer to a wire rack. Repeat twice with the remaining batter to make 18 cookies.
In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone at medium speed with the cream, the coffee extract and the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla until firm peaks form.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
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