Nipples of Venus (Capezzoli di Venere)


I first learned of these confections through the famous scene of the same name in the movie Amadeus. Fast forward 30-plus years later, and inspired by a viewer's request, I finally learned that these were in fact real, and very delicious, thanks in part to the star of the show, chestnuts. Serve these as a sexy snack during a Valentine's viewing of the corresponding film.

Prep Time:
1 hr
Cook Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 10 mins
24 truffles


  • cup white sugar

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

  • 14 ounces whole chestnuts

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¼ cup brandy

  • 8 ounces white chocolate, chopped

  • cup confectioners' sugar

  • 2 teaspoons milk, or as needed

  • paper candy cups

  • 1 drop red food coloring, or more as needed


  1. Cream sugar and butter together with a spatula until light and creamy. Set aside.

  2. Heat an inch of water in a pot set over low heat. Melt dark chocolate in a heat-proof bowl placed over the pot. Stir with a small spatula.

  3. Place chestnuts in a food processor; pulse on and off until very finely ground. Add chestnuts to the sugar-butter mixture and stir until combined. Add salt, cayenne pepper, vanilla extract, and brandy. Stir well. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix again until filling is well blended.

  4. Scoop filling onto a silicone-lined baking sheet and smooth out if necessary. Cover the balls in plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the white chocolate coating.

  5. Reserve about 20% of the white chocolate to stir in later. Melt the rest in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water until an instant-read thermometer inserted in to the chocolate reads 105 degree F (41 degrees C). Add the reserved white chocolate and stir until melted.

  6. Place 1 chocolate truffle on a fork and hold it up above the white chocolate coating. Spoon on the white chocolate until ball is well coated. Use another fork to push the truffle onto a lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining truffles and coating. Place the bowl of coating back over hot water if it chocolate starts to harden.

  7. Mix confectioners' sugar with enough milk to make a very thick paste that will hold together well. Dye it pink with red food coloring. Transfer into a piping bag and pipe a small dot on top of each truffle. Serve truffles in paper candy cups.

Chef's Notes:

If you must, another nut like almond, or hazelnut, should work about the same, especially when you consider your guest, or guests, will be fairly distracted by the eye-opening appearance.

Substitute cognac for the brandy if you prefer.

You can easily make the filling ahead of time, freeze, and add the coating any time.

This is more white chocolate than you need for coating, but that's how this stuff works. Just eat the rest.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

169 Calories
8g Fat
21g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 24
Calories 169
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 18mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 7mg 34%
Calcium 31mg 2%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 81mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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