Where do good desserts come from? What inspires them?

Half the time its simply a matter of–what’s in the kitchen or fridge right now? And after dinner last night, with a shared ribeye garnished with an unctuous slab of St Marcellin cheese (my wife scraped hers off after duly tasting it with a tine of her fork) and roasted vegetables, she asked about dessert.

Scorecard? Well, I had strawberries. I had some Dalmatian fig jam, and a quickly defrosting chocolate press-in tart shell so that was a good enough start. Wifey started suggesting that rather than laying the fig jam down on the base of the tart, that I should mix it up with the strawberries. She then suggested that it should be dusted in chocolate after baking, but I then showed her the chocolate tart shell and she withdrew the notion. “That’s enough chocolate,” I think, she breathed with the sort of passion she once exuded when she and I were alone and childless in the bedroom. Hmm.


I mixed the quartered strawberries with the fig jam in a bowl and set them aside, then roasted a handful of marcona almonds for several minutes till nicely browned, and when cooled, pulverized in the food processor. These I spread on the base of the baked tart shell, and then I added the strawberry fig mixture.

Yum diddly yum. Almost perfect. The chocolate took a bit too strong a command of the flavor mix, so I think I need to punctuate the strawberries and fig mixture with a little more sugar, perhaps, to bring a balance, but its definitely a keeper.

Oh. Berkeley-Talisay? A play on the famed French dessert Paris-Brest for reasons of our own.