Every season has a striking ingredient, an outstanding color, an out of the ordinary shape and form that catches the eye and keeps attracting attention. Every cook has preferred flavors where prominent elements in the kitchen evolve, influenced by life’s experiences and the aesthetics of the moment. The best recipes, like a favorite book, are a mixture of the old and the new — of memory and discovery. Cooking does not always involve long labor at the stove or an elaborate process of preparation. In fact some of the very best inventions just happen by chance. My prominent fruit of the moment is the crimson blood orange and my preferred method for dessert is simple, quick and easy. The following recipe is a collection of just a few of winter’s most impressive ingredients — the blood orange and the Medjool date.
This is the kind of dessert that goes perfectly with espresso. It is neither a cake or a brownie. It is an intense dark chocolate tart with the crunch of almonds, inspired by the island of Capri and its famous “torta”. It owes its place in my kitchen journals because of the simplicity of its ingredients and the roasted richness of its flavor.