From its flaky top studded with pine nuts, to the currants and grappa that flavor the chocolate interior, this torte hits all the right notes for Christmas.
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This torte's delicate, crackly top belies a soft, chocolate core. Grappa gives a boozy flourish, and currants and pine nuts provide a pleasant textural contrast.
Grappa can be thought of as the final production of a grape, as it is made from the pomace—skins, seeds, and stems—after the fruit has been used to make wine. The tradition of grappa finds its truest home in the Northeastern regions of Italy, where farmers turned the leftovers of their harvest into what was then seen as a healthful elixir.
Although it doesn't have the ancient pedigree that the Ethiopian coffee ceremony has, caffè corretto (or espresso corretto) also fulfills a significant cultural need shared not only by its Italian originators, but just about also anybody else with a lust for life: Hair of the dog.
Lately infusing my own spirits has become something of an obsession, and I have a big enough collection of bottles filled with fruits, herbs, and spices sitting under my sink to prove it. So when I came across this somewhat strange recipe for Milk Liqueur from the Azores in David Leite's The New Portuguese Table there was no way that I wasn't going to try it.
Virtually everything in the world of spirits is an acquired taste, but some tastes take longer to acquire than others. In today's Washington Post, Jason Wilson tackles a tipple that can be a particularly rough one to get accustomed to: grappa.