I have a bit of a foodie crush on Giada De Laurentiis. She gets truly excited when she cooks and tastes – big smiles, cheerful chatter, and lots of “mmm” sounds – which I can *totally* relate to. Some people like food, but some people LOVE food. I think Giada loves food. (I do too!)
My DVR is chock-full of episodes of her show on the Food Network, Everyday Italian. She featured a recipe recently that I just had to try right away – Fruit Salad with Cannoli Cream. It’s a gorgeous mix of fresh fruit (perfect for summer!) topped with a mix of ricotta and cinnamon whipped cream. Mmm.
The cream has to chill before the desserts can be assembled, so I made it first. In a medium bowl, I stirred together 1/3 cup of whole milk ricotta cheese with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. In a separate bowl, I used an electric mixer to beat 1/3 cup of heavy cream, 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar, and a pinch of ground cinnamon together until semi-firm peaks formed. I folded the ricotta-cream mixture into the whipped cream and refrigerated the cream for 30 minutes. (It will stiffen a bit.)
While the cream chilled, I made the fruit salad. I tossed together 2 1/2 cups of strawberries (hulled and quartered), 1 1/4 cups of fresh raspberries, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. I let the fruit stand until juices formed, tossing occasionally (15 minutes). Finally, I added 2 kiwi, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces.
I spooned the fruit salad into 4 dessert dishes and topped it with the chilled ricotta cream. A sprinkle of toasted almonds finished things off.
This was so, so yummy. Strawberries, raspberries, and kiwi are some of my favorite kinds of fruit, and the cream really does taste like it came straight from the center of a cannoli. I think the pinch of cinnamon in the cream really elevates the flavor. It’s amazing!
TIPS: The cannoli cream can be made up to 4 hours ahead of time, if necessary. Also, make sure you use really cold heavy cream; warm cream won’t whip.
Recipe link: Fruit Salad with Cannoli Cream