Sunday, October 24, 2010

cannoli ice cream cake

I’m right in the middle of creating a menu for an Italian Dinner party that I’m donating to my son’s marching band silent auction. I’ve already decided to make minestrone soup and braciola (more about that later), but I wanted something special for dessert. I’ve made chocolate mousse for this dinner before, but that’s not really Italian, is it?  Then I came across this outstanding recipe! It is from the 2010 Cook’s Illustrated Italian Favorites magazine. The only change I will make for the action dinner is to add more marmalade and more cinnamon.
This dessert is really great. Good enough for a fancy dinner but easy enough for the family. And I like that you must make it ahead of time.

Here’s what you need:
4 C good vanilla ice cream
1 C whole milk ricotta cheese (low fat will get crystallized when frozen… you want a creamy end result… throw calories to the wind this time, I think)
½ C orange marmalade (I think 2/3 C would be better…..)
¼ C mini chocolate chips
¼  C shelled pistachios, rough chopped
1/8 t vanilla
1/8 t cinnamon (I think ¼ t would be better……)

3 almond biscotti cookies (I had to go to Starbucks to buy mine…. Spent too much time scouring the various grocery stores in my town with no luck…. Do yourself a favor and just go directly to Starbucks)
2 T butter, melted

Here’s what you do:
Melt butter and break biscotti into large chunks. Whirl butter and cookies together in a food processor. Toast in a 350 degree oven for about 8 minutes, stirring once. When they are done, remove them from the baking sheet and allow them to cool – you don’t want the warm crumbs to melt the ice cream.

Shell and chop pistachios (I almost forgot to add them today – how sad would that have been?)

Scoop out the ice cream into a big bowl and allow it to soften a bit. Use a wooden spoon to work it around.  Add the cheese, marmalade, chocolate chips, pistachios, vanilla, and cinnamon. Continue to mix until well incorporated.

Pour into a 9x5 loaf pan which has been lined with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap extends about 6 inches on each end, so it can fold over the ice cream.

Cover the ice cream with the toasted cookie crumbs, wrap securely with plastic, and refreeze for at least 6 hours.

Before serving allow the dessert to sit for about 10 minutes and then turn out onto serving plate. Peel away the plastic carefully. Beautiful and very easy!

(printable recipe)


  1. Cannoli's, cannoli, cannolis, I don't know the plural for the word. Any way they are one of my favorite desserts. I grew up on them. I am definitely going to try this recipe. My Italian family will really appreciate it.

  2. Thank you!! I'm sorry I missed your tweet before alerting me to this. I have trouble sometimes seeing the replies. I'm reposting on my facebook page (Fun Mama).

  3. You have totally saved me by posting this recipe. We have started a tradition of making it for my husband's birthday since it's so hot here (TX) in June. However, this year I couldn't find the recipe at either the Cook's Illustrated site or Cook's Country! I have now written it down for future reference. Thank you so much for posting!

  4. I thought this was fun to make too - it was in my America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.


Thanks for stopping by my Living Cookbook! I appreciate each and every comment!