preparing the cannoli shells
* In food processor fitted with a metal blade, or by hand in a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, chocolate powder, salt, butter, and enough Marsala wine to obtain a firm and sticky dough.
* Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough lightly, adding some flour, a little at the time, until obtaining a smooth dough.
* Shape the dough as a ball, place on a dish, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside for about 1 hour.
* Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead again for few minutes. Place the dough back on the plate, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside for 1 more hour.
* Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface again, and cut into 3 pieces.
* Pass each piece through the pasta machine, starting with the widest number. Repeat the step until number 5 on the dial is reached and thin smooth pasta sheets are obtained. Keep the pasta dough and sheets covered with plastic wrap at all times while working to prevent the dough from drying out too much.
* Cut the dough into squares 4 x 4 inch (10 x 10 cm).
* Lightly butter the metal tubes.
* Wrap the squares around the tubes or cane diagonally. Don't press the dough against the tubes too much; otherwise it will be difficult to remove them afterward.
* Wet the overlapping part with the egg white and press on the edges to stick them together.
* In a saucepan, bring the oil to frying temperature. Fry the cannoli until golden brown a few at a time.
* Remove from the pan and transfer on paper towels on a large plate to drain the excess oil briefly.
* Remove the cannoli shells from the tubes while they are still warm.
* Repeat the step of forming the cannoli and frying until all the dough is used.
filling the cannoli
* In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Reserve 2 pieces of candied fruit per each cannoli for decoration. Combine the candied fruit and chocolate dice with the cheese filling.
* Using a pastry bag or a small spoon, fill the cannoli with the cheese mixture, and garnish the ends with pieces of candied fruit.
* Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
It is best to fill the cannoli shortly before serving. If the cannoli are filled too long in advance, the ricotta filling could wet the shells and the cannoli could become soft and soggy. One way to avoid this problem is to brush the inside of the cannoli with chocolate. Once the chocolate is solidified it will insulate the shells from the filling.