If you need someone to blame, then it is my Mom’s fault. For most of my teenage years, we would tackle Bon Appetit’s ridiculously complicated Valentine’s Day dessert together. This recipe taught me several important life skills including the proper pronunciation of framboise and Grand Marnier, and that, though still underage, if you cook with a new alcohol, it is easy to convince otherwise responsible adults that you needed to taste it.
More importantly, it taught me to enter the kitchen without fear, to fail boldly, and that if it meant eight hours together with someone special, your day was a complete success.
Unlike the glazed strawberry tarts with crème patissiere and spun sugar, or the aforementioned white and dark chocolate, marbled heart, this recipe is a snap. You have to wait 20 minutes for the cream to steep with the vanilla bean, and make sure not to scramble the egg yolks.
Chocolate Pasta + Crème Anglaise
- 1 1/4 cups cream
- 1 whole vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise and seeds scraped out
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups raspberries
- 1 1/2 tsp Dark Chocolate Balsamic vinegar*
- 8 oz chocolate pasta*
Simple Substitutions: You can use a thick, syrupy, 25-year balsamic and a tablespoon of dark, bittersweet chocolate shavings instead of the vinegar. No pasta? Grab some fresh berries, or just eat the sauce with a spoon. We won’t tell.
- Warm cream to a simmer over medium heat. Add bean and seeds to cream. Turn off heat, cover and steep for 20 minutes.
- Strain cream and return to heat with sugar. Return to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar.
- Add cream slowly to egg yolks. Return to medium heat. Stir until sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Crush 5-6 raspberries in a bowl. Strain sauce into bowl. Add vinegar.
- Cook pasta until al dente. Strain and return to pot with sauce. Cook an additional 5 minutes over low heat. Stir often.
- Cool to room temp over a bowl of ice water and serve topped with berries.