Cannolis are tubes made with dough, filled with fillings that can either be cream-based or cheese-based. Because of the filling, especially with cheese-based filling, your cannoli can get soggy in four hours or thereabouts.
With all this said, can you freeze cannolis? Yes, you can. But, you need to know that freezing cannolis that has already been filled is not the best idea. It is best to freeze the cannoli shell and filling separately. Freezing separately can preserve the cannoli for over a month before it starts to lose quality.
The filling in cannolis are made from dairy products. Dairy products contain a lot of moisture. So it’s hard for it to be frozen. Even if it does freeze, the freezing action causes the water molecules to expand and separate resulting in a soggy mess. If you freeze your cannolis with the filling intact inside, it is going to result in a soggy mess. Because water would seep out of the filling and soak the cannoli shell.
How to Freeze Cannolis
We have established that freezing cannoli with the filling inside it intact is not so much of a great idea. So how do we freeze this popular dessert and prolong the shelf life?
You can get frozen cannoli shells at the frozen section of your grocery store. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have your filling on hand. You can also get the store-bought filling to go with the frozen store-bought cannoli shells. It all depends on a personal scale of preference. Since store-bought baked goods have a higher shelf life than homemade ones, we are going to assume that you want to freeze your homemade cannolis.
Step 1: Stabilizing the Filling
The filling of the cannoli contains a lot of moisture. So, freezing it will slightly affect the taste and will greatly affect the texture. Especially cream-based filling, whipped cream loses volume after it has been frozen. The addition of gelatin to the filling can keep the texture together and help the volume loss of the whipped cream. So, how do you stabilize the filling?
- Mix the gelatin in some water before adding the whipped cream.
- Once the gelatin and cream have been thoroughly mixed, you can add flavorings according to your recipes or personal preference.
Step 2: Storage and Freezing
Now that your filling has been stabilized, all you need to do is a deep freeze. I would advise that you do not use the standard airtight freezer bags to freeze your filling as it could be a messy business after thawing.
Instead, look for an airtight freezer container and freeze. At a temperature lower than 0°F, the filling would last for months. But as the weeks go by it begins to lose its quality. Take special care to note the date of storage so that the filling can be consumed within the space of a month for the best quality.
Step 3: Freezing The Shells
Cannoli shells have a crunchy feel to them. This means that if you do not store or freeze it properly it can become stale and chewy. How do you freeze the shells?
In a simple one-step process, wrap the cannoli shells in plastic before wrapping them again, in aluminum foil. This is to reduce as much contact as you can with air. After the shells have been properly wrapped individually, place them inside airtight freezer bags before deep freezing.
How to Thaw Frozen Cannolis
When your filling is ready to be used, take it out of the freezer and leave it in a bowl in the fridge to thaw slowly. Do not microwave your filling as this would permanently ruin the texture. And thawing on the counter at room temperature can result in the rapid growth of bacteria in the filling. This is bad for your health.
Bring the shells out of the freezer. fill them with your already thawed filling before baking to help you revive that crunchy feel. Your freshly made cannolis should be consumed within two hours.
Can You Freeze Filled Cannolis?
Yes, you can. Although, you might like the result, which is a soggy and chewy dessert. However, if you must freeze already filled cannolis, and if you do not mind the taste of chocolate, you can dip the already filled cannolis in chocolate before freezing.
Chocolate would serve some sort of water-resistant matter between the filling and the shell. This method will ultimately change the taste of your cannolis but help you preserve the crunchy feel and prevent sogginess.
Are Cannolis Bad for You?
Cannolis contain a high percentage of calories so excessive consumption can result in a weight gain or worse. It is best that this Italian dessert be left for rare occasions.