This recipe was inspired by my friend and PBS colleague, Lydia Bastianich. This fancy-looking dessert is so easy, you’ll just love it! And mine has no refined sugar or saturated fat so it’s as good for you as it is yummy!
Makes 4 napoleons
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (plus more for rolling)
½ cup durum flour
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup dry red wine (or as needed)
Rice bran oil (for frying)
1 8 oz container of vegan cream cheese substitute
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 ounces Suzanne’s Specialties Rice Mellow
3 ounces non-dairy, dark chocolate chips
3 ounces slivered almonds
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
1 cup non-dairy, dark chocolate chips
Make the pastry dough in the food processor. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl and process just to mix. Mix the olive oil, vinegar and the wine together and…with the processor running, pour slowly down the spout until the dough gathers on the blade. It should be soft and tender, just gathered together, so you may need more wine. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand into a soft, smooth ball, 1-2 minutes. Flatten to a disk, wrap very tightly in plastic, and refrigerate. You can make the dough up to 2 days in advance.
To make the cannoli cream, whip the vegan cream cheese with Rice Mellow and vanilla until creamy. Chill completely before use. When ready to assemble the napoleons, fold the chocolate chips and almonds into the cream.
Cut the pastry dough in half. Wrap and freeze one half the dough for another use. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of dough to a rectangle about 14 by 11 inches. With a sharp knife, trim the edges and divide the rectangle into 12 squares, about 3-1/2 inches on a side. Set the squares on a sheet tray, lined with parchment and lightly floured to rest for 15 minutes before frying.
To fry the pastry, pour 1/4-inch rice bran oil into a deep skillet and heat over medium heat. With a fork, pierce each pastry square about all over the surface to prevent the pastry from bubbling when frying.
Heat the oil until a small piece of dough sizzles gently when inserted into it. Lay in as many squares as you can in the hot oil about 2 inches apart. Raise the heat medium-high to keep the oil temperature up. Fry the squares for about 3 minutes on each side, occasionally pushing them under the oil to heat the top surface. As the tops begin to bubble, press with tongs to prevent big bubbles from bursting. When the bottom is golden brown, flip the squares over and fry until evenly colored and crisp on both sides.
Lift the squares carefully from the oil with tongs and allow excess oil drip off. Transfer them to drain on parchment paper, flipping them over to blot the oil from both sides. Repeat with all the pastry squares, allowing oil to reheat in between batches and adding oil as needed.
Make the chocolate sauce by heating ‘milk’ and syrup to a high rolling boil. Pour over chocolate chips (in a heat-resistant bowl) and whisk until smooth.
Assemble your cannoli Napoleons shortly before serving, with 3 squares for each one. Set one square on the plate; dollop about 1-1/2 tablespoons of cannoli creme in the center; lay another square on top and press gently to spread the cream. Dollop on another layer of cream, cover with the third square and press gently. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and serve immediately.