About this recipe:These are classic Italian chocolate truffles made by combining a dark chocolate ganache with chestnuts, then coating with white chocolate, and finally topping the truffle with a dot of pale pink white chocolate. The Italian name literally translates to 'Nipples of Venus'. Enjoy!
350g high quality dark chocolate, chopped
450g tinned whole chestnuts, drained
6 tablespoons butter, softened
100g caster sugar
4 tablespoons brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
350g high quality white chocolate, chopped - divided
1 dash powdered red food colouring
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Method Prep:1hr30min › Extra time:30min cooling › Ready in:2hr
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 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 2.5cm in diameter. If the mixture is too soft to hold its shape, chill for several minutes in refrigerator.
Reserve about 25g (1 oz) of white chocolate for tempering, and about 25g for colouring. Melt the remaining 300g of white chocolate over simmering water in a double boiler until the chocolate is melted and warm but not hot (about 40 degrees C). Remove the pan containing the melted chocolate from the double boiler, and add about 25g of chopped, unmelted white chocolate. Stir the chocolate until the unmelted pieces of chocolate melt, and the temperature drops to 27 to 28 degrees C).
Carefully dip each centre in the melted white chocolate, and gently place the truffle onto a piece of baking parchment or greaseproof paper to cool and harden, about 15 minutes.
Melt the remaining 25g 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 colouring until you get a desired shade of pink. Dip a little coloured chocolate out with a spoon, dot each truffle with a pink dot, and allow the pink chocolate dots to set, about 15 minutes.
If the filling is too thin, as it often is for me, I make the truffles and put them in the freezer to set. In fact, I find the very solid and cold ganache is ideal for coating with chocolate, although the constant dipping of frozen centres into the hot tempered chocolate may require you to reheat the chocolate once more or maybe even twice more during the process.
If the centre is too thick, thin it out, teaspoon by teaspoon, with brandy.
Don't use a water-based or paste food colouring containing water to colour your white chocolate pink, or the water will cause the melted chocolate to harden and turn grainy. Buy powdered food colourings at a specialty bake shop or online.