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gluten-free cannolizelli from kyra bussanich

Sweet Cravings | Kyra’s Gluten-Free Cannolizelli

sweet cravings by kyra bussanich review

I remember the first time I met Kyra, it was at the 2012 Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in Chicago. I was there promoting my first ebook and she was there with samples of her famous truffle brownies. It was friendship at first bite. Over the past couple of years I have had the opportunity to see her take on countless bakers on her 4 appearances on Cupcake Wars and knock out nearly all the competition (She has 2 wins and 2 runner-up finishes under her belt and was the first gluten-free winner on the show).

gf friends
Her cupcakes aren’t just good for gluten-free, they are damn good.   Needless to say, I was crazy excited when I found out she was writing a cookbook. And maybe even a little giddy when she showed off the cover art when I got to see her in February. The book, Sweet Cravings, did not disappoint. Kyra is a trained pastry chef, so she approaches recipes a little differently than us mere mortals. She worked out protein and starch content ratios to make sure that each recipe mimics (or bests) its gluten-filled counterpart.

As you page through the book you will feel urged to drop everything and get to your kitchen and bake. Lush photos (let’s call it what it is, food porn) make you feel like Kyra can help you do just about anything. The book has a very in depth introduction that talks you through the different ingredients she uses and what properties make each ingredient unique. Measurements are included in both volume and metric units, so no matter how you prefer to bake, you will be able to make everything in the book. Unleash your dreams of being a food tv rockstar and start baking some gluten-free cupcakes!

The Rating

Author: Kyra Bussanich
Title: Sweet Cravings
Format: hard cover, full color center photo section
Stars: 5/5*
Buy it or Forget it: Buy it and live out your dreams of Cupcake Wars Domination
Must try recipes: Cannolizelli, Persian Love Cakes with Cardamom Buttercream, Pumpkin Spice Bread

*Read more about my cookbook review criteria.Kyra and I are good friends, and if her cookbook were not super awesome, I wouldn’t review it. I received a copy of the book in PDF form from Kyra and Ten Speed Press provided a physical review copy as well as a copy to give away. 

The Giveaway

There are multiple ways to enter, the only one you have to do is leave a comment here, the rest are optional but they will increase your odds of winning. The giveaway will end on September 25 at 11:59pm CST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

gluten-free cannolizelli from kyra bussanich

Gluten-Free Cannolizelli
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Kyra Bussanich
Serves: 20
Recipe reprinted with permission from Ten Speed Press/Kyra Bussanich. “When I was a child, our Christmas Day tradition was making cannoli. My dad grew up in the Bronx and was enamored with Ferraro’s Cannoli, a landmark in Little Italy. He had figured out a really great approximation of their recipe, so every year we would carefully stir together the ricotta, confectioners’ sugar, spices, and rum, spoon the cannoli filling into the crispy flour tortilla shells, and dust the whole thing with confectioners’ sugar. Then we would pile the cannoli on paper plates and deliver them to our friends and neighbors. Nowadays, I make cannoli in a gluten-free shell. Here’s how.”
  • Shells
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup / 113 g sugar
  • 1/3 cup / 71 g butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon / 5 g vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup / 122 g sweet white rice flour
  • 1/4 cup / 31 g tapioca starch
  • 1 teaspoon / 5 g baking powder
  • Filling
  • 1 (15-ounce) container / 425 g whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup / 71 g confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/4 cup / 59 g heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon / 2.6 g cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon / .9 g freshly grated orange zest
  • 11/2 teaspoons / .8 g rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon / 2.5 g vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup / 43 g semisweet mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup / 31 g toasted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
Make the shells
  1. To make the shells, using a stand mixer with a whip attachment, whip the egg whites and sugar until very thick and pale and fluffy. Then whip in the butter and vanilla. In a small bowl, combine the flour, starch, and baking powder. Sprinkle into the egg white mixture and blend well.
  2. Drop by small spoonfuls onto a heated, greased Pizelle iron. Close the lid and cook 30 to 45 seconds, until no more steam is escaping and the shell is golden brown. Open the lid and immediately shape the shells around a cannoli tube form or a sanitized broom handle. Be careful because the cannoli will be super hot coming off the iron. I use a fork and then drape the shell around the cannoli form. Let the shells cool on the form before sliding them off. It’s helpful to have 4 or 5 cannoli forms so you can continue to bake while the previous batch is cooling.
Make the filling
  1. To make the filling, mix together the ricotta, confectioners’ sugar, cream, cinnamon, orange zest, rum, and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and pistachio nuts.
  1. Right before serving, fill a pastry bag with the filling (or use a zip-top bag with a corner snipped off) and gently squeeze the filling into each end of the shells. If you fill them too early, the shells will soften and may break. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.
  2. You can make most of this ahead of time and assemble at the last minute: freeze the baked shells in an airtight container and refrigerate the filling until just before you’re planning to serve. If you want to assemble them ahead of time, melt together 1/2 cup of semisweet or dark chocolate and 11/2 teaspoons of butter and use a small pastry brush to gently paint the inside of the shells with the mixture. This acts as a barrier to the moisture, and also adds more chocolate flavor!


A trip to the GFAF Expo in San Francisco!

I spent 4 days hanging out in San Francisco this weekend – and I can tell you that I saw all the important things: Zest Bakery & the French Laundry. And that gluten-free people are the best people.

I loved seeing all of your smiling faces, answering your gluten-free baking questions and having the chance to meet you all!

Now, on to how it went!

I planned this weekend for months- anxiously texting my dear friends Kyra (owner of Crave Bakeshop outside of Portland) and Brandy (Mrs. Northwest 2013) to coordinate flights & hotel rooms. Trade secret: we all come to these events together so we have an excuse to gather from far corners of the country. And to collect more awesome friends.

To get ready for this trip, I stalked the French Laundry on Open Table for a reservation. I read up on companies visiting the expo so I could make sure that I would have time to see what products we are missing in the Midwest. (And so that I could figure out whose employees might be the most fun to hang with). I gathered a crowd that included Brandy, Kyra, Alison – the sassy blogger behind A Girl Defloured, Charissa from Zest Bakery and Andrew from Taste Guru for a day of feasting.

I’m a food blogger, so of course this trip was all about the food.

So we started our first day like any responsible party that was about to spend $300/person on lunch. We went to our friend’s bakery and ate from the tasting menu. (In other words, we ordered some of every item in the case and stood there and tried them all). I was in gastronomic heaven, and it wasn’t even 10am.



After breakfast, The French Laundry had a pretty high bar it had to clear. And it did. I may never be able to look at vegetables the same way again (and I am ok with that). 10 courses of gluten-free vegetables, a root beer float and a peanut butter & jelly chocolate and a sinful chocolate something or other and I am set for life. I am working on a post just about that meal, but for now, you’ll have to take my word that it was perfect.



Friday night was also the part that, for me, is the best part of the expo – meeting the smiling faces behind blogs, twitter handles and companies. There were two people I was on a mission to meet- Sabrina from the Tomato Tart (who got away without enough time chatting!) and Erica from Celiac and the Beast. They are as epically awesome in person as they are on their blogs. Funny, kind and gluten-free. There might have been some impressive bear hugs and squeals of delight when we all finally met.

And the there were the bloggers that I didn’t know were going to be there, or I hadn’t come across before – and they are pretty dang awesome too. You should totes check out GF Traveller, East Bay Celiac, The GFree Foodie and Sarah Bakes gluten-free. Because they are totes cool too.



The weekend wasn’t all play – Kyra, Brandy & I all gave talks and shared our passions with the crowds. Erica sold me a pretty dang awesome hoodie.

But I know all you really care about are the goods. So I singled out a few of my favorites.

FAVORITESTop row: Crave Cake Mixes // Freedom Cereal Tropic Os // Red Apple Lipstick
Middle row: Kind Plus Bars // The Good Bean Chili Lime Chickpeas // Taste Guru (box of the month club with awesome stuff inside!)
Bottom row: Schar Lemon Wafers // Blackbird Bakery Bread Blend  //



Wednesday Wisdom: A tip from Pastry Chef Kyra Bussanich

About Kyra:

After being disappointed in the gluten-free products that were available on the market, Kyra thought she’d have to live without birthday cakes and scones and doughnuts. Kyra graduated with honors from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu patisserie program, which gave her a solid foundation of knowledge about classical French baking techniques which she was able to apply toward baking gluten-free. She has won Food Network’s Cupcake wars twice, and owns Crave Bakeshop outside of Portland.