Sunday, May 19 2024

Sweet cigarettes, also known as surprise (or sometimes zufoli), are typical Sicilian pastry treats, but can be found somewhat throughout southern Italy (let me know if they can be found in the rest of Italy as well).
These cigarettes are made of wafer and then filled with a very delicate ricotta cream.

The whole thing is really delicious, like a kind of mini cannoli, with a more delicate flavor.


The only, very small, flaw: you will need some dexterity to quickly roll the shells without breaking them while they are still warm (I used Chinese chopsticks to shape them, but any long, thin object that is well cleaned will do).

By following the instructions, however, you should have no problems whatsoever.

 

 

For the shells:

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 7 tablespoons egg whites

For the cream:

  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar + extra for garnish

 

METHOD:

First, let the ricotta cheese drain in a colander, placing it in the refrigerator so that it loses excess whey and dries out.

Start whipping the egg whites: when they begin to swell, add the sugar, still continuing to whip.

Once you have a firm meringue, incorporate the room temperature butter (it should have an almost creamy consistency).

Finally, also incorporate the flour after sifting it.

Draw rectangles of about 3.5 x 2.4 inches. on the back of a sheet of baking paper with a pencil, then turn the sheet of baking paper over (so that the shape shows on the surface but the mixture does not come into direct contact with the design) and fill the rectangles with the mixture, smoothing it out as much as possible with a spatula so as to create even layers.

Bake for 5 to 10 minutes in a ventilated oven preheated to 350 F; when the edges are nicely browned, the waffles are ready.

Here we come to the hardest part: while they are still hot, quickly roll your waffles, starting from the long side, around Chinese chopsticks or pencils (make sure they are well washed!) and let them cool like this.
Once completely cool, you can gently slip the chopsticks off.

Prepare the cream by quickly working the ricotta cheese with the powdered sugar.

At this point you can fill the cigarettes with the ricotta cream, helping yourself with a long nozzle sac-à-poche.

The sweet cigarettes are ready, all you have to do is decorate them with powdered sugar and serve.

 

 

 

 

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