My Friday day off and it was finally raining in our drought stricken state, but despite a day off, I had things to do, places to go, and with no car it was bike or by foot, so after a leisurely morning, I stepped out under the grey skies onto my bike and began my trip to the Berkeley Bowl West to gather up a few final ingredients.

I decided to pass on stopping first at Cafe Trieste for a coffee and run my errand first, and three blocks later I heard as well as felt the flub flub sound of my bike’s flat tire. Shit. Shit. Shit! I walked the remaining two blocks, bought my ingredients, left my bike upstairs in the boiler room and figured out what to do next. The bike couldn’t be addressed till Sunday, so much for that. So I hefted my purchases into my pannier bag and walked to Cafe Trieste some 15 minutes away (still in the rain) where upon seating myself by the window realized…I had left my book, iPad, and such back at the grocery store.

#%$&! A quick call confirmed this so I desultorily chewed my Italian pastry and drank my cortado and considered how to finish the day: I had to get the dessert started, make the caponata, buy some cheese, and prepare the swordfish. This meant a couple of more lengthy walks through the rain with a heavy bag of groceries and…screw it. Took the bus. Had to wait in the rain for a bus to get home, alas, but finally got there by about 1230pm.

Here’s a selfie of miserable me at the bus stop.


Lofty plans of additional soup courses, pasta side dishes quickly vanished from my mental menu. Bread and a variety of cheeses would have to do, and the grilled swordfish over caponata without additional starches would need to suffice…as well as a load of good white wine and prosecco.

The dessert uncomfortably called in Italian torta morbida con amarene in guscio friabile is a frickin’ mouthful, but the actual dessert more than equals it in stature– delicious and not perilously sweet. Gotta admit that ‘morbida’ ain’t the happiest word to hear, but after considerable bowls were washed and cleaned and the prep done…well, look!
-food processor for the dough (Clean!)
-oven to toast almonds
-cream butter and sugar in Kitchenaid mixer (Clean!)
-beat egg whites (Clean!)
-chop chocolate in food processor (Clean!)
-melt chocolate on stovetop (Clean!)

That’s a lot of cleaning, but quite typical for many desserts. Here are the phases in the making…after a fashion.

Here is the shell unbaked and just filled with the chocolate and cherry mixture.


Here it is baked after 55 minutes, from the top and laterally.


Look at the edges and top of the crust–looks like the Italian Alps on the horizon. So cool looking, very rustic, don’t you think?


The final touch after it’s cooled is shaving chocolate on the top. I would have preferred more dramatic curls than the little shavings I managed to make, but I figure I’ll dope it out eventually.


Finally, all good things must be eaten, and though we were still rather stuffed from dinner (grilled swordfish with caponata), both our male guests managed to squeeze a second thin slice. Of what was left, our guests took home with them so that I can continue to trim myself down to 210 lbs. Five more pounds, folks.