The dessert I couldn’t have – Torta Sbrisolona
When you have kids, there are things you are not told. Like how to deal with the children vs restaurant situation, for example.
My baby was so adorable when we were dining out, just sitting there, chewing her bread with her teethless little mouth, or sleeping in her stroller. We loved bring her with us to restaurants.
But kids grow fast, and the adorable baby turned into one of the yelling and running toddlers.
Just the other day, we went out to this restaurant, to have lunch, but mostly for the dessert – a delicious almond tart. All set, we ordered our meals, and everything seemed very calm – the kiddo drawing with some crayons, smiling to the waitress… Until, of course, the arrival of the food. Instantly Helena got very, very bored, and started to throw the crayons, the bread when she was out of crayons, and call her friend, the waitress, yelling really really loud over and over: “come here, lady, COME HE-RE LA-DY!!!”
We were absolutely mortified, trying to control the situation somehow, under the looks of the other costumers. Obviously, we didn’t stay for the delicious dessert.
As soon as we left the restaurant, thinking were we did wrong with our kid, she transformed again from the little delinquent into our cute little princess, calm and happy.
Torta Sbrisolona – makes one nine-inch tart
This tart is in fact a very big almond cookie, and the idea is break off pieces with your hands. The torta sbrisolona is a very traditional treat from Mantova, in Italy, and it has a delicious crumbly texture, like a streusel topping. It is commonly served with zabaglione as a dessert.
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch of corse salt
- 125g/ 4,5oz blanched almonds, ground
- some whole almonds, for decoration
- 1/2 cup softened butter, cut in pieces
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp almond extract or almond liqueur
Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 390°F. Butter a round 20cm/ 9-inch springform pan, or tart pan with a removable bottom.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and ground almonds. Add butter and yolk, and mix with your fingertips until the flour is all moist, but crumbly, with big and small lumps, like streusel.
Distribute the pastry in the prepared pan, but don’t press. Decorate with the whole almonds and bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden. Low oven temperature to 170°C/ 340°F and bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until dry and golden brown. Place in a wire rack to cool.