There’s an amazing Italian restaurant that we used to frequent before we discovered the low carb lifestyle, it’s called “Eatalian Cafe” in the city of Gardena, about 15 minutes south of Downtown Los Angeles. One side of the restaurant is a dessert bar full of beautiful pastries and an incredible gelato selection. After I would be done with my carb meal I would always bee line for the cannolis. They’re incredible and I miss them. So much so that I decided to find a great recipe and “ketofy” it!
My mind first went to fathead dough but I knew I wanted something lighter. Then it hit me! Cut Da Carb bread (NOT AN AD) would be the the perfect substitute for the pastry dough! If you’ve ever worked with CDC flat bread you know how delicate it can be. I usually make quesadillas or wraps. I heat it very briefly on a skillet with butter. By briefly, I mean a minute (literally)! Otherwise it crisps to much and won’t hold.
First step is to cut circles out of your flatbread. I made three per sheet using a 5 inch plastic bowl as a stencil (2 sheets total, to make 6 shells). I trimmed around the bowl with a sharp knife. Any scraps left behind will be used to make chips for a snack later. Just be sure to seal the scraps in a plastic baggie in the fridge till you are ready to fry them.
I didn’t have any stainless steal cannoli molds laying around my house so I first tried rolling up the flat bread into a taquito shape and securing it with a tooth pick. I dropped it into the coconut oil and it immediately flattened. I was so sad! I looked everywhere for something that could withstand the heat and mold my cannolis at the same time! I got creative and grabbed a couple of wine corks that were laying around.
With my tongs, I swished the flat bread bath and forth 1 time per side in the hot oil. Literally only back and forth one time. This took a max of 3 seconds total, it’s important not to get it cripsy or it will crack and crumble when you try to roll it. Next I put it on a paper towel lined plate and immediately placed 2 corks side by side and used them as a guide to wrap the flatbread around. I would let them cool for about a minute and then push the corks through and fry the next one. If you have more than 2 corks it’ll go much quicker but since I only made 6 cannolis it didn’t take me much time.
Next is to whip up the cannoli filling. There are a million variations of cannoli filling on Pinterest and you can use whichever you prefer. The recipe I used is adapted from gringalicious.com I was happy that she had a quick and simple version that I can put together without much effort as I was already overwhelmed with trying to figure out the pastry part. Her recipe calls for vanilla bean which I didn’t have available to me so I used a teaspoon of vanilla extract instead. It also yielded 30 cannolis which I didn’t need since there are only 2 people that eat low carb in my house, although I must say anyone that isn’t low carb would love these and probably would not be able to tell!
When the filling was ready I filled the pastry bag with the filling and used a large tip. I piped it into the fried shells from both sides, dusted with confectioners erythritol and added Lily’s chocolate chips to the ends. Its important to enjoy these immediately because the flatbread can get soggy fairly quickly. If you only want to make a few at a time you can do so and store the filling in the fridge for up to 5 days. You may even be able to store it in the freezer but I have not tried to do so myself yet. Please let me know if you have and how that works out.
Low Carb Cannoli
A Sicilian inspired fried pastry, filled with decadent cream filling and topped with sugar free chocolate chips.
- 2 sheets Cut Da Carb flatbread
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 tspn vanilla extract
- 1/4 tspn cinnamon
- 1/4 tspn fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tspn lemon zest
- 3/4 cup powdered erythritol (I buy granulated and blend it down in a coffee grinder)
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup sugar free chocolate chips or any other topping. Crushed nuts work great as well.
- For the shells, cut the flatbread into three 5in circles as demonstrated in the 1st video above, using 2 sheets for 6 shells total.
- Heat enough coconut oil in a heavy pot to completely submerge each shell (pre-heat for about 5 minutes on medium high).
- Using tongs swish the flatbread in the oil, 1 time per side, fairly quickly. See 2nd video for quick tutorial.
- Once fried, place on a paper lined plate to drain and immediately roll around 2 wine corks to form a tube. Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes then remove corks by gently pushing them through. While each shell forms and cools, work on the cream filling.
- Begin cream filling by whisking the ricotta cheese in a medium bowl until completely smooth. Add vanilla, powdered erythritol, cinnamon, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
- In a separate bowl beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form, you can also use a stand mixer with whisk attachment.
- Gently fold in the heavy cream into the ricotta mixture.
- Fill a pastry bag with a large pastry tip and filling (you can also use a ziplock bag and cut the corner to use as a tip). Fill the shell from each side to make sure and get the center. Add chocolate chips to the ends or use any topping you’d like. Dust with powdered sweetener. Enjoy as soon as possible to avoid soggy flatbread. Any leftover cream filling can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. I have yet to experiment freezing it for future use.