Ever been to Norwich? It’s a Fine City – or so the billboards tell me.
In truth it’s a pretty nice place (with an excellent library) – but the choices for dining out aren’t generally that amazing. Until you get to The Workshop.
I heart The Workshop: it’s cosy, there’s a fab atmosphere, and the menu is fantastic. Huge delicious pizzas served on boards the size of children, lists and lists of well-priced mouthwatering mezze, and a drinks menu boasting Almond Milk and Pistachio Hot Chocolate.
Since the last time I went there (several months ago), they’ve also upped the stakes in the Pudding Department. Where once their cabinet housed a few baklava here and there, now there are various shelves of tantalising home-made treats. Flaky Frangipanes, Fresh Fruit Tarts, Doughnut Twists…
It took me a jolly long time to choose, but ultimately I was drawn to this:
Looks pretty exciting, doesn’t it? The girl at the counter said it was a Caprese: an Italian-style cake made with almonds, chocolate, limoncello (i.e. sweet lemon liqueur) and dusted with a drift of icing sugar.
At £3 a slice, it also rinsed out the last of my burdensome coppers. Job done.
I plunged my fork in with high hopes – could this be the dish to restore my faith in Italian puds? – but after it entered my mouth I wasn’t so sure.
Something was wrong.
Not the texture, which was perfect (moist, melty, and juicy with ground almonds), but something to do with the flavour.
I ate half of it, confused, not quite able to pinpoint the problem.
Perhaps it was the combination of limoncello and milk chocolate…
Keen to test my theory, I pulled the layers apart and tasted each one separately.
This time they were lovely. The limoncello sweet and lemony. The chocolate like a smooth ground almond brownie.
The problem was eating them in the same mouthful: there wasn’t enough of a contrast. Both flavours were too middling; too complete in themselves, if that makes sense. Neither one needed to be complemented.
To put it another way, if the lemony half had been sharper and the chocolatey half much sweeter (or vice versa), they would have worked much better as a team. As it was they were practically elbowing each other out the way.
Still, I was easily able to look on the bright side: having cleft the slice in two, I now had a couple of tasty cakes instead of only one.
Shame it went down just as quickly…