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The dessert I couldn’t have – Torta Sbrisolona

17 de September de 2009


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.

Go figure.


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.


19 Comments leave one →
  1. birdman3 permalink
    17 de September de 2009 2:18

    thanks for the info on the tarts look really well

  2. 17 de September de 2009 2:59

    I love this. I am sure going to try this. I like the way you wrapped it up all special….I have a special friend or two who would love it to appear on their desk one of these dark rainy days. Inspiration…thanks.

  3. 17 de September de 2009 14:29

    Love the way you wrapped the tart…

  4. 17 de September de 2009 19:48

    Hi Paula
    Love the idea of this tart and the way that you wrapped it as a gift. I give 75 people a homemade treat at our Christmas party – as smaller version of this may be this year’s answer.

  5. islandexile permalink
    17 de September de 2009 23:39

    I come back again and again to your posts because they’re so visually inspired, have a great sense of humor, and are just plain delicious!

  6. 18 de September de 2009 0:59

    This looks amazing! I’m making this asap. I bookmarked it on Delicious and tweeted it too! Thanks for a great recipe.

  7. 18 de September de 2009 3:07

    I love the amount of almonds in this recipe……. it looks wonderful! 🙂

  8. 18 de September de 2009 4:49

    Now this is different! Photos are just fabulous!

  9. 18 de September de 2009 16:06

    Great story! 😉 Ah, the joys of children!

  10. 19 de September de 2009 5:26

    Ah, this brings back nostalgia. I made this once for my friend for Christmas…Packaged it just like you did, too! 😀

  11. 19 de September de 2009 18:18

    very original the wrapping, and the cake looks delicious!

    cheers from london,


  12. 20 de September de 2009 23:23

    Oh does that look good! I would love this. My children did the same thing when they were little. They would usually be good as long as they were busy….

  13. 21 de September de 2009 13:54

    Girl…I have two toddlers so I can relate. We never go out to restaurants anymore…lol. This tart looks great! I love the way you packaged it too. So cute 🙂

  14. 23 de September de 2009 1:47

    What a gorgeous looking torta! Aww no you poor thing! And often people think that it’s the parents doing. Kids sure have impeccable timing don’t they! 🙂

  15. 26 de September de 2009 12:15

    I just found your blog accidentally and LOVE it. This torta is what is a specialty in the region of Italy my mother comes from. I can’t wait to try your recipe.

  16. 1 de October de 2009 17:31


    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes YUM YUM.
    We would like to add it to the

    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.

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  17. 11 de October de 2009 14:42

    The torta is gorgeous. A beautiful recipe, and a great gift. And yes, bringing up kids is no kids play.

  18. 21 de October de 2009 4:04

    I am so making this torta.

  19. Caroline permalink
    15 de December de 2009 20:17

    Love this recipe and your wrapping!

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