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Capezzoli di Venere

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 February 2012 at 13:38
These delightful Italian confections were made famous in the movie, Amadeus:
There is some dispute between the version shown in the movie and the "authentic" version of these treats, as true Capezzoli di Venere are evidently more brownish rather than white. A possible explanation can be found at
The Question:
Quote I just saw the movie Mozart again and the confection Salieri offers Constance which he specifically tells her are called Nipples of Venus, are covered with a white coarse sugar type icing. I don't think anyone has come up with the right recipe. If you see the movie, you'll see what I mean.
Respectfully yours,
And the reply:
Quote Hello Maritza,
The photo of the dish of "Nipples of Venus" or " Capezzoli di Venere" from the movie (The movie is "Amadeus") is in several places on the Internet. As you say, the confections shown are white. But the recipes for this dish are for brandied chestnuts coated with chocolate, which will result in brown "nipples". Even the recipe given on the "Amadeus" tribute site is for chocolate-covered confections, not white ones....
What's the solution to this puzzle?
You begin with the view that the recipes must be wrong. I chose the opposite view, and I believe that I have found evidence that I am correct. You see, I speculated that the movie makers might have decided that the authentic brown "nipples" did not look as striking on film as white ones would, so they changed the recipe and used either white chocolate or almond bark to coat the confections. According to another "Amadeus" tribute site that I found, they were not even that close to authentic. The movie makers just used plain marzipan molded to look like nipples.
[From] "The Amadeus Experience:"
Quote ...did you know that the movie version of these supposedly delicious Capezzoli's were not roman chestnuts? In fact, the makers of Amadeus used plain marzipan and Elizabeth Berridge (Constanze) HATES marzipan. Now, that's an actress, I'll tell you, because we never suspected a thing!"
So, if you want to be accurate to the real, authentic recipe for Capezzoli di Venere, then you'll use the chocolate recipe that results in brown "nipples". If you want to be accurate to the movie, you'll make white "nipples of marzipan" instead. You might compromise and use my suggestion of white chocolate to be semi-accurate to both.
And here's the recipe, from the same source:

Quote This is from an Italian cookbook and the author says: "These heavenly truffles are a little time-consuming but repay the effort. With fresh chestnuts, the truffles are richer-tasting than with canned. For variety, add finely chopped toasted almonds or freshly-grated nutmeg to the truffle mixture."

Capezzoli di Venere
(Nipples of Venus)
Roman Chestnuts in Brandied Sugar

6 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
16 oz. can whole chestnuts, or 1 1/4 pound fresh
6 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 1/2 Tablespoons brandy or other liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the chocolate coating ingredients:

14 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1 to 1 1/2 cups pure cocoa powder


To prepare centers, melt chocolate in a double boiler and allow to cool. If using fresh chestnuts, cut a cross on the flat side of each shell, put in a large pan, cover with cold water, and boil for 5 minutes.

Remove the shells and inner skins. Rice the chestnuts. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add chestnuts and flavorings to the butter/sugar mixture and blend well, then stir in the cooled chocolate. Mix well. Roll into balls 1-1/2 inches in diameter; if mixture becomes too soft to shape, chill for several minutes.

To coat, melt the chocolate on a plate over boiling water; let cool. Carefully roll the truffles in melted chocolate, then place on a plate of cocoa powder and allow to dry for several minutes. Dust each truffle with cocoa and place in paper candy cup. Store in refrigerator.

Yield: 5 dozen truffles

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