Ricotta-mascarpone filling with cognac


Sweet Alchemy: Dessert MagicOne day a client asked me to make cannoli. I have to admit, having worked mainly in French kitchens, and having seen and tasted many bad cannoli, I had never attempted to create my own. When faced with the request, I became a deer in the headlights. So I put the task into the hands of my friend Carol, my sous chef at the time. She is well versed in Mediterranean cooking, and I never shy away from asking someone who knows a recipe better than I do to show me the way. What I fell in love with wasn’t the fried shell but her take on the cream filling. It’s simply divine. Since then, I’ve used variations of it in many applications. Thanks, Carol!

  • Yield: 3 ½ CUPS (840 ML)


  • ¾ Cup (185 g) Spring Hill small curd ricotta cheese
  • ½ Cup plus 1 tbsp (130 g) mascarpone cheese
  • 2½ tbsp (30 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 Orange grated zest
  • 1 tbsp (15 g) vanilla cognac
  • 1½ tsp (10 g) orange flower water
  • ¾ tsp (5 g) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240 g) heavy cream
How to Make It
  1. About 1 hour before you plan to make the filling, place the ricotta and mascarpone on the counter so that they come to room temperature.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine both cheeses, the sugar, orange zest, cognac, orange flower water, and salt. Mix on low speed for about 20 seconds, or until just evenly combined. Switch to the whisk attachment, using a rubber spatula to clean the paddle into the mixer bowl. Set the mixer on medium speed and add the heavy cream, whisking until the mixture becomes a lighter, whipped cream. Take care not to overwhip, so you don’t break the mascarpone and the heavy cream. The final mixture should have a creamy, spoonable texture. This mixture will keep stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days.

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