Earlier today I posted a review of Emilia Romagna, one of the books in the Time Life series Flavors of Italy. This dessert caught my eye. A thin pie or tort with a filling of coffee, cocoa and almonds. I would top my piece with whipped cream, or ice cream, but you are free to just gobble down the coffee and cocoa with no mellowing.

This is a classic example of Italian cuisine: a short list of ingredients, a long-lasting flavor.


Yield: 8 servings [or fewer!]


For the crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose/plain flour
  • Dash of salt
  • 4½ tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup butter, cut in small pieces
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons Sassolino liqueur or Jamaica rum

For the filling:

  • 1 cup toasted almonds, finely chopped
  • ⅔ cup superfine sugar
  • Generous ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons strong coffee, cooled


Mix the sifted flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder together in a bowl.

Turn out onto a pastry board and heap up into a mound. Make a well in the center and add the butter. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips. The resulting mixture will look like fine breadcrumbs.

Add the egg yolks and liqueur or rum and combine. Work briefly to form a smooth dough.

Mix the almonds in a bowl with the sugar and sifted cocoa powder. Stir in the egg yolks and coffee, blending well.

Roll out the pastry and line a fairly shallow 10 inch springform pie or cake pan previously greased with butter and dusted with flour. Pinch all round the edge of the pastry to obtain a fluted effect.

Fill the pie shell with the filling. Do not smooth the surface level. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 35 minutes.

Serve warm.

Source: Emilia Romagna by Rosalba Gioffre [Time Life Flavors of Italy, 1999]