You might have first heard of them when watching that great film Amadeus. If you've seen it you may remember the scene. It's the treat offered to Constanze Mozart - Wolfgang's wife - by his nemesis, Antonio Salieri, when she brings him some of her husband's original compositions.
I immediately searched for the recipe, but that was long before Google made it so easy. I was finally blessed with this recipe by a friend who had it among his Italian great grandmother's recipes, but you can find other variations all over the Internet. I understand that the brown versions are more commonly made - probably because it's easier.
If you enjoy cooking and baking and like to make candies, this is not a difficult recipe. Okay, so it's not as easy as picking up a box of chocolates, and its definitely more complicated than hand-dipping your own chocolate covered strawberries, but trust me, it is well worth the time and effort.
You can even get away with just grilling up some steak or fish, steaming some veggies and baking a potato or boiling some rice. Candlelight. Some flowers. A glass of red wine. And, a plate of Capezzoli de Venere and your St. Valentine's Day will be one to remember.
I confess, I didn't make them this year. I simply ran out of time for time in the kitchen - and it's probably too late for you to make them for this Valentine's Day for your sweetie, but do think about saving this recipe for next year. You will get "Oooh's" and "Aaah's" left and right.
You may even get lucky.
Happy Valentine's Day!
- Place the dark chocolate into the top part of a double boiler over simmering water, and let the chocolate melt. Turn off the heat and let the chocolate cool.
- Place the chestnuts into the work bowl of a food processor, and process until the chestnuts are smoothly pureed, about 1 minute.
- Beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chestnuts, brandy, and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the chocolate, and pinch off about 1 tablespoon of filling per truffle. Roll the mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter. If the mixture is too soft to hold its shape, chill for several minutes in refrigerator.
- Reserve about 1 ounce of white chocolate for tempering, and about 1 ounce for coloring. Melt the remaining 10 ounces of white chocolate over simmering water in a double boiler until the chocolate is melted and warm but not hot (about 105 degrees F (40 degrees C)). Remove the pan containing the melted chocolate from the double boiler, and add about 1 ounce of chopped, unmelted white chocolate. Stir the chocolate until the unmelted pieces of chocolate melt, and the temperature drops to 80 to 82 degrees F (27 to 28 degrees C)).
- Carefully dip each center in the melted white chocolate, and gently place the truffle onto a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper to cool and harden, about 15 minutes.
- Melt the remaining 1 ounce of chopped white chocolate over simmering water in a double boiler until the chocolate is melted and warm but not hot. Stir in a very small amount of powdered red food coloring until you get a desired shade of pink. Dip a little colored chocolate out with a spoon, dot each truffle with a pink dot, and allow the pink chocolate dots to set, about 15 minutes.