This is an excerpt from the longer article Eat Your Way Through The Friuli–Venezia Giulia Region of Italy by Elisabeth Antoine Crawford, author of Flavors of Friuli: A Culinary Journey through Northeastern Italy:
My fondest memory of Trieste will always be the day I first stepped into Pasticceria Penso. My timing seems predestined — I arrived on a blustery February morning just as a few dozen chocolate cakes were being pulled from the oven. I was immediately invited back into the cozy kitchen to watch their transformation into Torta Sacher.
The patriarch of the family-run bakery, Italo Stoppar, doused each layer of cake with Maraschino liqueur, then spread on a thick coat of apricot preserves. His son Antonello drizzled the top with dark chocolate ganache, which was soon followed by a garnish of chocolate sprinkles around the sides. This was just the first of many such mornings; the next year, I arranged for an apartment across the street, so that I could spend countless hours observing their techniques-and sampling every cream-stuffed, chocolate-glazed, fruit-filled morsel I could possibly devour.