3 Italian bakes you need to know about

Introducing the likes of Cannoli, Sfogliatella and Torcetti - you can thank us later

3 Italian bakes you need to know about

For the first time in The Great British Bake Off history, the bakers will be transported to Sicilian shores as the final six take on Italian Week.

On Tuesday night we'll see the remaining half dozen bakers face the "hottest temperatures ever recorded in the tent", according to presenter, Sandi Toksvig.

In the trailer for tonight's episode Sandi says, "there will be a Mediterranean meltdown in our first ever Italian Week with a deep fried Sicilian signature, a technical takeaway and the most demanding pastry showstopper the Bake Off has ever seen."

But contestants won't be taking on the most well-known Italian creations, like Amaretti biscuits, sweet and soft panettone or the super crunchy biscotti. Instead, it will be the lesser-known cannoli and shell-shaped pastry, sfogliatella. 

Here are three lesser-known Italian pastries you're going to want to try after tonight...


If you're a lover of sweet and savoury bites, a crunchy cannoli is just the thing. The tube-shaped shell of fried dough, originates from Sicilly, and can be filled with a sweet, creamy filling or ricotta cheese. Chocolate chunks and a sprinkling of candied fruit are often added to the tube too. Then, the ends are typically dipped in crushed pistachios and also garnished in more chocolate, almonds or powdered sugar. It's a treat for the tastebuds and eyes. 

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Calling all fans of pastry - introducing the pretty as a picture Sfogliatella, pronounced Sa-foy-ya-tella, which can be eaten for breakfast or dessert. 

Hailing from Naples, this pastry comes in two different versions and literally translates as small, thin layers. There's the Sfogliatella Riccia (literally meaning curly), which is made with a soft, flaky, tissue-thin dough similar to puff pastry and filled with a mixture of ricotta, semolina, sugar, cinnamon, eggs and some candied citrus.

Then there's the Sfogliatella Frolla which contains exactly the same filling, but the shell is smooth and soft as the pastry is like a pie crust. 

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Torcetti originates from the northwest region of Italy, Piedmont and is at first glance is like a breadstick. But what makes it different, and way more interesting is the addition of butter which is added to the dough mixture. It helps give it a flaky-like texture. Then, once the dough has been made, it is rolled in sugar, twisted into a drop shape and baked.

Fancy baking something to eat while watching Bake Off? Pick up all the ingredients you need online or pop into your local store