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Seeking the REAL "Brooklyn Style" Cannoli Recipe

This article is a revelation. Thank you for sharing.

The wall of cannoli secrets is slowly falling, but we are not there yet. Until we have the true, authentic, complete recipe, I urge everyone who has a passion for cannoli to continue the search.

Has anyone tried the Jasmine oil mentioned in the article? This is the first time I've seen it mentioned, but it is plausible that the cream might have a small amount.

Apr 26, 2013
vtheory in Home Cooking

Seeking the REAL "Brooklyn Style" Cannoli Recipe

After tinkering a bit I decided that the recipe is not the authentic one. What I did, though, was as follows:

1 lb impastata (drained ricotta if you must, but totally different flavor)
Add sugar to taste
Add vanilla to taste (keep in mind, vanilla will amplify the sweetness, so maybe use a little less sugar than youd otherwise want, then add vanilla. If not sweet enough, add more sugar).
Add a drop Of cinnamon oil (by far the most powerful ingredient - consider diluting a drop in something else, as an entire drop may be too much)
Add nutmeg oil to taste (it's a lot less powerful than cinnamon oil)

Once you're done, you can add citron and mini choco chips. For citron, buy the fresh stuff. What you buy in the supermarket is awful. It should have a "snap" to it.

I am glad this discussion is still alive, because I have still not sen a recipe that reproduces the flavor of what you find in Brooklyn. I think tanino is on to something. Namely, I am starting to suspect there is cream cheese or some other cheese in most cannoli (but not mascarpone). There is a distinct dairy flavor that i have not tasted in any type of ricotta I've ever bought.

Dec 03, 2012
vtheory in Home Cooking

Seeking the REAL "Brooklyn Style" Cannoli Recipe

The secret ingredient appears to be NUTMEG OIL + cinnamon oil, combined (very little cinnamon oil). I can't believe it - I have >NEVER< seen nutmeg oil listed in any recipe. This gives the exact flavor of your favorite cannoli places in NYC (i.e. veniero's, court st pastry, etc).

If anyone else has a chance to try it out, let me know your thoughts!

Nov 28, 2010
vtheory in Home Cooking

Seeking the REAL "Brooklyn Style" Cannoli Recipe

The Don,

Thank you for your input. However, I must say that I've tried your recipe before (aside from adding the whole milk, which is an interesting twist) and it does not quite get me there. There is still an additional flavor in the cannolis I get in Brooklyn that does not come out when I simply mix impastata, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon oil (which is the recipe one often finds online). A question I have for you, or just in general, is: is it possible that this has to do with the type of impastata being used? I have increasingly come to suspect that perhaps the type of impastata most of these places are using has a lot of additional flavor that may come from some sort of cheesemaking process. My thought being that most impastatas I have purchased may have more of a "neutral" flavor, perhaps more desirable for making other recipes. If that is not the missing key, then I am thinking perhaps an additional milk-based product is being added to the mix, or an additional flavoring of some sort (though I have been unable to put my finger on what it would be). Having visited some cannoli places in arthur ave, I noticed that some cannoli did not use cinnamon oil but still seemed to have that "special" flavor and to me it seemed like it had to do w/ the quality of the ricotta.

If that is the case, any thoughts on where someone might find this special impastata?

Aug 24, 2010
vtheory in Home Cooking

Seeking the REAL "Brooklyn Style" Cannoli Recipe

I wish leaving cannoli making to the pros were an option. Living in a city where there are no good cannoli to be found, I do not have the luxury of leaving it to the pros. Necessity is the mother of invention and I am very much hoping that someone can provide a useful lead.

I have spent over 10 years trying to perfect the recipe and my cannoli cream still tastes very little like what you find in these Brooklyn bakeries. With only a handful of places that actually make this style of cannoli, surely someone must share the recipe so that when these stores are gone, we can still enjoy their delicacies. It doesn't seem to make any sense - I don't know of any other pastry that has so many different recipes, none of which taste like the most famous versions available.

By the way, roxlet, Ricottone is a variant of Ricotta, though I don't think it's the one used by these bakeries. They definitely use a type of impastata, although it's unclear whether they have access to a special batch or make their own a special way, like Potito's. I tried several different suppliers of Impastata when I lived in NY and found most of them tasted fairly similar. I currently have no reason to believe that this is the problem in my search.

Feb 17, 2010
vtheory in Home Cooking

Seeking the REAL "Brooklyn Style" Cannoli Recipe

I use either drained Hand-Dipped Calabro Cheese or Impastata right now, but like I said, no results. I have also seen the "arthur avenue cookbook" recipe. Unfortunately, it is woefully inadequate (I don't even think it makes any sense - a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon oil?! That would be radioactive! It also does not include Citron).

I think there is an ingredient I am missing, or a special technique that is not listed on internet recipes. Again, I call on all bakers who've worked in a shop making such cannoli to share their secrets.

Feb 17, 2010
vtheory in Home Cooking

Seeking the REAL "Brooklyn Style" Cannoli Recipe

I have a serious Cannoli recipe problem, which I've been unable to resolve for several years. As many cannoli-philes have probably figured out, none of the recipes posted online or on this forum actually produce what I would now call the "Brooklyn style" cannoli, which is the cannoli of my youth.

I am reaching out to the Chowhounders out there who have worked in a bakery to share their secrets, because at this point, I am convinced that the recipe or secret to producing the cannoli I am looking for (and the cannoli style most beloved by most new yorkers) is simply not in the public domain.

What do I mean by Brooklyn style cannoli? First, let's get it straight - after trying to track down the "brooklyn style" cannoli recipe for over 10 years, I have noticed that in the US, there are several cannoli styles present. In Boston, most cannoli are just ricotta and sugar (think Fortunato brothers or Rocco's). Many people love this style, and to them, this IS cannoli. However, that's not what I'm looking for. If you get a cannoli in most spots in Manhattan, they will at least use impastata, which is a higher fat, low moisture version of ricotta, and candied citron. There is also other variants, such as Villabate's in Brooklyn, which seems to use some sort of orange or other liquer base (I only tried it once, not my thing, though they use a great ricotta), but it is a variation you won't find often. Occasionally, you will also find a cannoli that uses cinnamon oil, which is one of the key "secret" ingredients often listed on boards.

However, if you have ever been to a cannoli spot like Court Street Pastry, Alba's (now Luigi's in Staten Island), Cristoforo Colombo or even Veniero's, you probably have found out that absolutely no cannoli recipe out there can get you the flavor of these bakeries (which I am calling "Brooklyn" style, although you can find similar cannoli on Staten Island, parts of New Jersey, and other random areas). It is a hard flavor to describe, which definitely uses cinnamon oil or some other cinnamon source and of course, citron, but there is another flavor there that I've been unable to replicate using any of the recipes online (and I don't think it's Sheep's Milk Ricotta, which I've obtained from several sources on different occasions, with no success).

At first, I thought it might be some sort of anise extract, and perhaps that is part of the "secret", as that at least seems to get me part of the way. At times, I've thought that perhaps I am limited in my selection of ricotta, or that perhaps they do something to the cheese to create more flavor (though I don't think most of these places add mascarpone). Recently, I visited a pastry place in Philadelphia called Potito's that has a very interesting filling, and they informed me that they actually make their own ricotta - perhaps that is part of the secret (although I note theirs does not use cinnamon oil)?

Either way, despite my efforts to use every possible combination of the following: anise extract, cinnamon oil, sambucca, rose water, orange flower water, strega, maraschino liquer, rum, cacao liquer, Almond extract/Amaretto, etc, my cannoli filling still tastes absolutely nothing like these "brooklyn style" cannoli places.

If anyone has any advice, I would incredibly appreciate it. I have tried every variation of every recipe on the internet and am using high quality impastata and have tried maybe a dozen different cinnamon oils at this point.

Feb 16, 2010
vtheory in Home Cooking