To thicken cannoli filling, add cornstarch to the ingredients. This Italian dessert is made out of fried pastry shells filled with a sweet ricotta cheese mixture to which the cornstarch is added.
- Make the cannoli filling
Ricotta cheese is the traditional ingredient of cannoli filling, but marscapone cheese is a common alternative. Using a cheesecloth or strainer, drain the ricotta cheese for at least half an hour to prevent runny filling. Mix 16 ounces of drained ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla in a stand mixer. Refrigerate the mixture to thicken it. Take out the mixture once you're ready to fill the cannoli.
- Thicken the filling
If the filling isn't thick enough, use cornstarch to thicken it further. Do not use cornmeal as a substitute. Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to the filling, and mix the filling in the stand mixer. Check the consistency, and add another tablespoon if you prefer the filling thicker. A common cornstarch substitute is arrowroot, which has a similar neutral taste.
- Pipe the filling
Once the mixture is the right consistency, fill it into a pastry bag without a tip. Pipe the ricotta cheese into the cannoli from both ends. Garnish the filling with chocolate chips if desired.