The Challenge

South Dakota's vibrant agricultural industry offers Sioux Falls resident an amazing opportunity to get fresh from the farm produce. Each weekend from May to September, Sioux Falls is the site of not one, but three vibrant Farmers Markets. Sadly, I like most Sioux Falls residents rarely take advantage of this opportunity. We’re all struggling to eat healthier these days, and what better place to start than with fresh produce? That's why this blog was born. My challenge is to visit the Market each week throughout the summer, find one or two special items and create a dish around them. I hope you’ll join me on this little adventure and we’ll see what our local farmers have to offer.

This weekend Team Aluminum Chef took on Baconfest, a fundraiser to help the Sioux Falls Roller Dolz cover expenses for road trips and the like. We had a great time and got great response to our offering: The Chocolate & Bacon Cannoli.

I know what you're thinking, but trust me, this rocked! Cannolis aren't too hard to make, once you get the shells made. Even these aren't too involved. You'll need a set of Cannoli molds, available at most kitchen specialty stores for a minimal price. Basically these are just tubes around which you wrap the dough to fry them, but they are cheap enough that I wouldn't try to improvise with homemade forms. It is possible to buy premade cannoli shells if you don't want to make your own, and this is certainly a way to make these great dessert treats even easier.

So be adventurous and enjoy the Chocolate & Bacon Cannoli. Thanks to the Rollerdolz and to everyone who participated in Baconfest.



Chocolate and Bacon Cannoli

SHELL:
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tbsp. cocoa
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. shortening
1/2 c. Merlot wine

FILLING:
8 oz. ricotta cheese
8 oz. marscapone cheese
2 tbsp. rum
4 tbsp. mini chocolate chips

1 pound finely chopped applewood smoked bacon
2 tbsp. sugar

1 egg white

CHOCOLATE TOPPING:
1/4 c. heavy cream
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

To Make Shells:

Sift all dry ingredients together. Cut shortening into small pieces and add to dry ingredients. Blend together adding wine in small amounts. Knead dough until well blended, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Roll dough out to 1/16" thickness. Cut into 5" rounds. roll the round a bit to make it into an oval. Wrap around cannoli molds so that the edges overlap just about 1/2'' and seal with egg white.

Drop cannoli, mold and all, into the fryer and fry at 350 degrees until crispy, about 90 seconds.

Allow to cool and carefully remove from mold.

To Make Filling:

Fry bacon until crisp, then chop in food processor until finely chopped.

Reserve 1/3 of the bacon and 2 tbsp. of mini chocolate chips for topping.

In in stand mixer(or mixing bowl with hand mixer), combine ricotta, marscapone, rum, vanilla, sugar 2 tbsp. mini chocolate chips and 2/3rd's of the bacon and whip until well combined and creamy.

Add mixture to piping bag with a very large tip. Fill cannoli shells, letting a little come out the ends of the shell.

Mix reserved bacon and mini chips and dip ends of the filled cannolis.

Melt semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler with heavy cream, and drizzle over cannolis.

Optionally, you can then top cannolis with more bacon and powdered sugar.



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