The sighs of nun are a typical Sicilian dessert, and precisely Messina: bianchi, Creamy, soft, delicious and simple to prepare. I'm sure you'll fall in love with it. I'm sort of a sandwich’ soft with the base of savoyards, stuffed with ricotta cream and decorated with icing sugar and candied. Usually with a candied orange zest or, Alternatively, a candied icing. Sometimes they are found with ricotta sprinkled with pistachios. But this decoration is not traditional, also because being “sighs of nun” , these sweets had to be as candid as possible. Here, too, it is the protagonist the sheep's cottage cheese, as in SICILIAN CANNOLI (if you've never made them take a look at the VIDEO RECIPE and get down to business).
Sospiri di monaca, history and ingredients
The origin of nun's sighs, like most traditional Sicilian sweets, starting with the ALMOND PASTE, is attributed to the mastery of the nuns scattered in convents throughout the island. In Messina the sighs of nun are found of various sizes: very big or mignon. I chose an average size, to serve on the table an elegant but not microscopic dessert. We Sicilians don't like microscopic amounts of food, i think you understand.
The execution is simple and in the recipe you will find a small step. The base is a Savoyard paste, basically a kind of sponge cake with a double dose of flour, so that by inflating it remains consistent and you can cut it out of your pocket. The dessert is stuffed with a very simple cream of sheep's ricotta and icing sugar, and then decorated with a candied. In Messina it is not difficult to find them also stuffed with lemon pastry cream or chocolate pastry cream, but these are modern variants.
I suggest you, as in the case of the Sicilian cassata, by prepare them a day in advance and store them in the refrigerator. Because the Savoyard base moistens thanks to ricotta and the taste becomes more complex and harmonious. Now I'll leave you recommending you take a look at all my SWEET SICILIAN RECIPES and I wish you as always a good day.
- FOR SAVOIARDO PASTA
4 whole eggs
180 grams of flour 00
150 grams of sugar
a pinch of fine salt
- FOR THE STUFFING
600 grams of ricotta cheese
120 grams powdered sugar
powdered sugar for garnish, to taste
candied orange peels or candied cherries just enough
The sighs of nun are very simple to prepare, but you don't have to be in a hurry when you whip eggs with sugar, because they have to be well swollen. Put eggs, sugar and salt in a large bowl and whip with electric whips or planetarium until the mixture has become swollen, whitish, dense and fluffy, quadrupled in volume. If mounted with electric whips it will take about 15-20 minutes.
Add the sifted flour and incorporate it into the dough using a spatula, not with whips. Incorporate it slowly and be careful that the flour does not remain at the bottom of the bowl but is well dissolved in the egg and sugar dough. You will get a yellow mass, dense, frothy. Coat a baking tray of baking paper and preheat the oven to 175 degrees static.
Put the dough for the savoyards in a pastry bag without a nozzles, cut the tip and spread the dough on the baking paper forming domes, like the ones you see in the picture. Once the dome has been formed, add a little more dough to the center, so that cooking swollen and then you can cut and make a pocket.
Bake and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the cookie is swollen and well golden. Churning out, gently cool and peel off the savoyard paste from the baking paper. Allow to cool completely and store in a frost bag, to keep the pasta moist and fluffy.
For the filling of the sighs of nun, you just have to sift through the cottage cheese with a fine mesh sieve, to get a cream, and mix it with icing sugar. If the cottage cheese was very moist and with the presence of serum, I suggest you leave it in a schoolboy for at least 3-4 hours to lose liquid. To make the ricotta filling firm and easily manageable, you can work it and season it with sugar the day before you make the sweets and let it firm in the refrigerator for one night.
Cut the savoyard paste from a pocket (you don't have to cut them in half but at the top, as you see in the picture). Put the cottage cheese in a pastry bag and fill the monk's sighs in abundance, then leveling the cream with a spatula. Garnish messina nun sighs with a candied orange zest or candied cherry and sprinkle with plenty of icing sugar. Remember, get ready a day in advance, they're even better. Bon appétit!