For those who aren’t big fans of cream cheese fillings or frostings (I’m one of those), ricotta cream is a terrific alternative. It’s lighter and fresher tasting, especially when you make it with homemade ricotta. Yet it’s utterly delicious. Served with some sort of crisp cookie garnish, it makes a dessert all by itself. And of course it’s the classic filling for cannoli. Start by placing the ricotta in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle (you can do this by hand if you’d rather).
Beat it up for about three minutes until it’s creamy looking.
Add the powdered sugar and beat that in for about 30 seconds.
Scrape the bowl and add the vanilla.
Beat it another 10-15 seconds until it’s like so.
Lastly fold in any inclusions you like (mini chocolate chips or bits of candied citrus rind are the classics).
Done! Now where’s that spoon…
This recipe is adapted from Grace Massa Langlois’ new book, Grace’s Sweet Life. If you haven’t been to her blog of the same name, I highly recommend that you visit. It’s a treasure trove of Italian and Italian-inspired bakery. Ricotta cream can be used as a filling for all sorts of things, but is most commonly seen piped into cannoli. You’ll need:
1 lb. 6 ounces (3 cups) fresh ricotta cheese, drained overnight
6 ounces (1 1/3 cups) confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1.75 ounces (1/3 cup) finely diced candied citron or orange peel (optional)
2.75 ounces (1/3 cup) miniature semisweet chocolate chips
Put the cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. Beat until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 4 minutes. Stir in the candied peel or chocolate ships if using. Transfer the filling to an airtight container and refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it.