TGRWT #9: Chocolate tagliatelle with parmesan cream

Chocolate pasta suspended for drying.

For this round of TGRWT I decided to use the recipe (Chocolate Carbonara with Parmigiano Reggiano Cream and a Chocolate-Dipped Grissini Wrapped in Prosciutto di Parma) by Masaharu Morimoto which I’ve blogged about previously. I was quite intrigued by that recipe and wanted to try it! So here it is, converted to metric units with some small adjustments. The original recipe called for 4 eggs, but this rendered the pasta dough to hard. I added two of the whites which were left over from the sauce. BTW this is why one of should better weigh out eggs instead of count them (too bad I didn’t think about his from the beginning so I could have weighed the eggs I used). The original recipe called for bread sticks with chocolate and prosciutto di Parma which I skipped (but which nonetheless sounds like a good accompaniment – as you’re probably aware of meat and chocolate also go very well together!).

Chocolate tagliatelle
450 g plain flour
4 eggs + 2 whites (adjust according to size of eggs)
55 g cocoa powder
1 T olive oil (leave out? – see comment in text)

Knead. Let rest for 30 minutes or more. Use pasta machine to work through dough until smooth. Roll out to desired thickness and cut into tagliatelle or spaghetti.

To start with the dough was not very elastic, so I immediately regretted that I had added the olive oil (which I optimistically added to the dough, hoping that it would perhaps help bind the crumbles together – only to discover that more eggs were needed anyway). The reason for this is that the olive oil interferes with the formation of gluten because it covers the proteins glutenin and gliadin and prevents them from reacting with each other to form gluten. So next time I would try without the olive oil (or at least wait until after the dough had rested before adding the oil to allow time for the flour to be completely hydrated).

I used a manual pasta machine to knead through the dough and make tagliatelle strips of the dough.

The color is wonderful and handling sheets like this certainly sparks new ideas. How about a chocolate lasagna with a custard cream?

When partly dry, the surface easily cracks.

Parmesan cream
5 dL cream (38% fat)
4 egg yolks
100 g sugar
50 g grated parmesan

Bring cream to boil. Remove from heat. Add sugar and parmesan while stirring. Add egg yolks. Whisk and heat to 80-85 °C. Serve with chocolate tagliatelle.


Verdict: Very nice! Because of the rich cream, it’s a good idea not to serve a large plate of it though. As was the case last time I tried the cocoa/parmesan combo, it was as if something was missing. Probably something acidic like lemon or lime. The cream is quite sweet, so the dish would probably work best for a dessert (but a guest I served it too said he wasn’t quite sure whether it was a starter or a dessert). I think a lemon or lime sorbet/sherbet would be nice with it! Or why not try Morimoto’s breadstick with prosciutto?

Tasting the parmesan cream by it self was quite surprising, because – believe or not – it reminded me of vanilla! In fact I’m quite sure that many would be convinced that it was vanilla cream (with a special little twist added). Certainly the color and the texture look a lot like vanilla, but the flavour also reminded me of vanilla. This was perhaps the most fascinating discovery and I’ll certainly have to explore this further. The weird thing of course is that once I start googling for parmesan and vanilla I find both recipes and menu examples (Sour dough loaf with parmesan, vanilla & truffle butter, Fava Bean Custard with Parmesan/Vanilla Foam & Grilled Belgium Endive). There is nothing new under the sun 😉


  1. Chocolate noodles….ah tagliatelle….How innovative of you! I am wondering how long the tagliatelle is boiled. Would you please explain further the process after drying and before adding the cream sauce.

    Your creation is the inspirational push I have needed to buy that noodle maker I have been eyeing for quite some time. Thanks so much for sharing your creative adventures.


  2. It’s possible to boil them right away, but you’ll notice that they start to dry out on the surface pretty fast. Regarding boiling – 3-4 mintues is fine. I used a strainer to let the drip dry. Then I used chopsticks (!) and portioned them out on plates with cream sauce.


  3. How about using grano duro/durum wheat flour as opposed to soft wheat? I tend to prefer the more elastic consistency the vastly more glutenous flour provides.

    I agree that this would seem to be in need of acidity to correct the overwhelming sweetness of the cream; I will probably just add a few drops of lemon juice to the cream at the last minute.

    Is the decision to not mix the pasta with the cream a conscious one? I generally find that pasta gains from being coated in the sauce. While not as photogenic, it allows the flavour of the sauce to infuse the itself rather bland pasta better, and it makes it a lot easier to get all that delicious sauce into your mouth :]

  4. í˜ystein,

    You’re right that a harder wheat flour would give a more elastic consistency! I only used what I had at hand.

    And as you might have guessed – the pasta was mixed with the sauce before consumption, but after the picture was taken 🙂


  5. Very interesting idea. I tried it out yesterday and the result was quite acceptable.

    few notes:
    * size of the eggs matters — I had probably too small ones; dough lacked moisture, so I added bit more egg whites and just a bit of water.
    * boiling time — 4-5 minutes is just enough
    * sauce was rich indeed, and everybody who tried it thought it had vanilla inside. _very_ interesting. next time I’d reduce the sugar and probably would do half heavy/half light cream — it was too rich for me.
    * current suggested quantities probably serve around 10-12 persons (if not more) — if you’re just experimenting, dividing all the quantities by 4 might be a good idea.

  6. This recipe sounds quite interesting indeed. I dont really see the need to add the sugar in the sauce actually…. If it is to mild down the bitterness of the cocoa powder, why not add “a bit” of it to the pasta dough?

    The add of a salty taste will improve the recipe for me. I guess this was why Morimoto proposed the Parma Ham sticks. To add some stripes of ham to the pasta itself would work quite well for me (this version could start to be called a Carbonara 😉 ) and as every good Carbonara, a dust of fresh grinded black pepper could finish the dish 🙂

    What do you think?

  7. I did this today and I found out that if you incorporate just one more egg yolk rather than 2 egg white the product doesnt brek as much.

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