In order to yield eight nice big chestnut hearts, you’ll need
- 1 kilo of South Tyrolean chestnuts
- 200 g of icing sugar
- 200 g of dark chocolate (couverture)
- 200 ml of fresh cream
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- If you like, you can add a dash of rum (not for children) and a dash of vanilla straight from the pod.
Particularly beautiful chestnuts grow in Valle Isarco (Eisacktal) and in the area around Tesimo near Lana, where you can still buy them directly from the farm. Be sure that you have plenty of time to prepare the recipe.
Place the newly harvested, unpeeled chestnuts into boiling water and simmer over low heat until soft (about 40 minutes). Cut the chestnuts in half along the narrow side and remove the meats using a small spoon. Press the chestnut meat through a potato ricer in order to yield fine chestnut flour. Knead in the icing sugar and vanilla, adding a shot of rum to taste, until you have a good and pliable mass.
Make little heart shapes; let cool until firm.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a warm water bath, using a small deep pot. Use a small fork to dip the chestnuts gently into the chocolate (tip first), making sure that you do not cover the upper edge with chocolate. Place the hearts on wax paper to dry. Once the chocolate has properly hardened, carefully cut a little of the chestnut out of the broad side.
Whip the heavy cream with sugar until stiff and place it in a pastry bag with star tip. Inject the cream into the opening of the chestnut heart, forming a nice crown.
Tip: You can also freeze the chocolate hearts and fill with cream just before serving.
Congratulations! You’re well on your way to the perfect seduction. The Vitalpina Hotels group wishes you much success and a “hearty” culinary treat!