I’ve always wanted to make Capezzoli di Venere (Nipples of Venus) ever since I saw the 1982 film Amadeus. These Italian delights are suggestively decorated, I know, but they’re so delicious. The inside contains a buttery, brandy-soaked chestnut filling, that is then dipped in white chocolate and topped with a white chocolate “nipple”. I suppose Capezzoli di Venere would make a great Valentine’s Day dessert, or a fun baby shower favor. Heck, they’d probably be a hit at a bachelor party. You know men… they love little chocolates.
This recipe from LaLeeRu at Allrecipes.com calls for the tempering of chocolate, which I cannot tell you much about since I’ve yet to fully grasp the concept myself. In fact, before I began working on these truffles I was confused as to why we must temper at all. What is tempering anyway? Well, I did some research and I found out that to achieve a shiny, crisp finish to chocolate you must carefully melt and then cool and then reheat the chocolate ever so slightly before you can work with it. It’s all about the manipulation of fat crystals in the cocoa butter.
Capezzolli di Venere are fairly easy to make. To begin, mix together pureed chestnuts, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and brandy. Pour in melted, but cooled bittersweet chocolate and mix until combined. At this point, the filling is a little too soft to roll into balls, so refrigerate it for about an hour to firm up.
Scoop out tablespoon-sized pieces, and roll each one into a smooth-ish ball.
Temper the white chocolate, and then pour the white chocolate over each ball. I tempered this batch by stirring in an ounce of solid white chocolate into the melted white chocolate. This helped cool the melted chocolate a bit. I then stirred the chocolate constantly until it smoothed out.
Reserve some white chocolate for the “nipple”. Melt and ounce, and then mix in a dash of red food coloring.
The combination of the brandied chestnut filling and white chocolate is so yummy. I’ve must have eaten about 20 already. Oh well. Diet starts tomorrow.
- 12 oz. (340 g) good quality Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
- 16 oz. (459 g) Canned Whole Chestnuts, drained
- 6 TBS (84 g) Unsalted Butter, softened
- ½ cup (100 g) Granulated Sugar
- 1/8 tsp. Salt
- ¼ cup Brandy
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 12 oz. (341 g) good quality White Chocolate, chopped and divided
- a dash of powdered Red Food Coloring (Don't use gel or liquid as it will make the white chocolate grainy and hard)
- Place the bittersweet chocolate in a heat proof bowl and then place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir constantly until it’s almost melted. Remove from heat, and stir the chocolate until it has completely melted. Set aside to cool.
- In a food processor, pulse the chestnuts until pureed.
- Using a hand-held mixer or standing mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Mix in the chestnuts, salt, vanilla extract, and brandy. Add the cooled, but still liquefied chocolate and stir until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about an hour.
- Place parchment paper over a large baking sheet. Scoop out tablespoon-sized pieces of the chocolate mixture and roll each into a ball. Place the chocolate balls on the baking sheet. If the mixture is too sticky or crumbly then dampen your hands a bit with water. Once finished, place the baking sheet in the freezer.
- Place 10 ounces of the white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl (reserve the remaining white chocolate for tempering and coloring). Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir the chocolate until almost melted. Use a candy thermometer, and when the temperature reaches 105 degrees F. remove the bowl from the heat. Stir in an ounce of the reserved white chocolate until completely smooth. Allow it to cool and thicken just a bit. Remove the chocolate balls from the freezer, and carefully drizzle a tablespoon’s worth (give or take) of the white chocolate over each ball. Set aside to harden.
- Melt the remaining 1 ounce of white chocolate over simmering water in the make-shift double boiler. Remove from heat when melted and then stir in a very small amount of powdered red food coloring until you get the color you desire. Let the colored white chocolate cool for 10 minutes and then pour into the piping bag. Cut off the tip of the bag, and dot each truffle with a pink “nipple”. If you don’t have a piping bag you can use a small spoon to do the dotting. Godere!
- Heat-proof bowl (to make a double boiler)
- Standing mixer with paddle attachment
- Food processor
- Baking sheets
- Parchment paper
- Disposable piping bag (optional)
- Candy thermometer