Chocolate linguine with nutella and caramel cognac sauciness

Last spring, on a surprise visit to the convocation of Daddy Starbucks in Seattle, the Grimm Gourmet potluck scavenger lunch was born in Pike Place Market (directions: rather than sitting down at a restaurant, everyone split all over the market and meet back with 1-2 items of your choosing).  I think I bought some salmon jerky and an outrageously caloric donut, but also this dark chocolate linguine.

A couple of week’s ago a few friends rolled into D.C. pretty late on a weekday so it finally seemed like occasion to try this out this dessert. Unlike some other questionable things I’ve made this year chocolate pasta is a winner on a lot of levels – looks great, tastes great, and the caramel cognac sauce was called “biochemically fascinating.” At first I wasn’t sure whether to take this as a compliment, but I can assure you that after seeing the sauce harden into caramel candy it’s a very apt description.

Not your grandma's linguine. Unless your grandma really loves chocolate.

Not your grandma’s linguine. Unless your grandma really loves chocolate.

That’s bananas, strawberries, shredded coconut white chocolate, and whipped cream.   Not exactly pictured but still very much in play are a nutella cream sauce and the aforementioned caramel cognac sauce.

Ingredients

Chocolate Pasta
I bought it, but if you want a pretty simple recipe, here’s a link

Caramel Cognac Sauce – from here
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cognac
2 tbsps fresh lemon juice

Hazelnut cream sauce – from here
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup nutella
1 pinch salt

Whipped Cream – from here
1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
A few tbsps of powdered sugar

White chocolate coconut topping
Buy a bar of whatever white chocolate you want

Preparation

1. You might want to start with the whipped cream, which can take a while.  Just add the cream, vanilla, and sugar to a mixing bowl and start whipping.  Use a grater on the white chocolate at this point as well.

The illusion of cheese.

The illusion of cheese.

2. Next up is the caramel cognac sauce.  Cook the sugar in a dry skillet until begins to melt, and then stir for 8 to 10 minutes. The sugar starts to get lumpy – I don’t think I did this very effectively, but you get the idea below.

photo(22)

I used Hennessy

3. Add water, cognac, and lemon juice until sugar is dissolved.  It will end up looking something like the picture below, and do note that this stuff hardens like candy incredibly quickly, so you’ll want to keep the heat on low if nothing else is ready yet.

Keep the heat on.

Keep the heat on.

4. Meanwhile, you’ll want to make the nutella cream sauce, which is pretty straightforward.  Bring the heavy cream to a simmer, then stir in nutella, and add a pinch of salt if you’d like.  That’s it.

5. Serve with whatever fruit you want – we went with bananas and strawberries.  Mix all of the sauces, or some of the sauces, at your discretion.  Sprinkle with chocolate.

photo(29)

WARNING: This caramel cognac sauce heats like crazy – see tupperware after 25 seconds in the microwave, so I’d use a pan and stovetop for reheating.

photo(28)

You understand the biochemically fascinating part now, right?

 

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