May 6, 2008

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bliss

Elizabeth of Ugg Smell Food is my new BFF. Okay, ya. I only know her virtually. But she knows what makes me tick.


Peanut butter.

That's about all it takes to get me jazzed about a recipe.

Elizabeth had the daunting responsibility of selecting this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, where members bake a recipe from Baking: From My Home to Yours. A girl after my own heart, she chose the Peanut Butter Torte. This thing is seriously like a giant Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. If you have even a remote aversion to either chocolate or peanuts, this is not the recipe for you. But, if you have ever been so desperate for a chocolate-peanut butter "fix" (like me) that you have dipped chocolate bars straight into the peanut butter jar (also like me), you need to rock this recipe.

I tried the mousse with a spoon before assembling and I wasn't impressed. I was a little dissappointed, but I tried to reserve judgment. Once assembled, the flavors blended beautifully. The textures also balanced each other well. Lots of crunchiness and smoothness throughout.

You need to plan with this one because it does require a significant amount of refrigeration, but the actual labor of putting it together is pretty minimal.

I would probably use about six more Oreos than what is called for in the recipe. I had enough for the crust, but it wasn't as forgiving as I need.

I noticed when making the ganache, it took a few moments for the chocolate and the cream to blend. At first I thought I messed up, but it just took a little longer than I expected. Be patient—it will come together.

Check out some more chocolate-peanut butter eye candy.

Peanut Butter Torte

1 ¼ c. finely chopped salted peanuts (for the filling, crunch and topping)
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon instant espresso powder (or finely ground instant coffee)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
½ c. mini chocolate chips (or finely chopped semi sweet chocolate)
24 Oreo cookies, finely crumbed or ground in a food processor or blender
½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt
2 ½ c. heavy cream
1 ¼ c confectioners’ sugar, sifted
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ c salted peanut butter – crunchy or smooth (not natural; I use Skippy)
2 tablespoons whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped

Getting ready
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Toss ½ cup of the chopped peanuts, the sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate chops together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Put the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in another small bowl and stir with a fork just until crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the spring form pan (they should go up about 2 inches on the sides). Freeze the crust for 10 minutes.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a rack and let it cool completely before filling.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, whip 2 cups of the cream until it holds medium peaks. Beat in ¼ cup of the confectioners’ sugar and whip until the cream holds medium-firm peaks. Crape the cream into a bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Wipe out (do not wash) the bowl, fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment if you have one, or continue with the hand mixer, and beat the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until the cream cheese is satiny smooth. Beat in the peanut butter, ¼ cup of the chopped peanuts and the milk.

Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir in about one quarter of the whipped cream, just to lighten the mousse. Still working with the spatula, stir in the crunchy peanut mixture, then gingerly fold in the remaining whipped cream.

Scrape the mousse into the crust, mounding and smoothing the top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight; cover with plastic wrap as soon as the mousse firms.

To Finish The Torte
Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Leave the bowl over the water just until the chocolate softens and starts to melt, about 3 minutes; remove the bowl from the saucepan.

Bring the remaining ½ cup cream to a full boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and, working with a a rubber spatula, very gently stir together until the ganache is completely blended and glossy.

Pour the ganache over the torte, smoothing it with a metal icing spatula. Scatter the remaining ½ cup peanuts over the top and chill to set the topping, about 20 minutes.

When the ganache is firm, remove the sides of the springform pan; it’s easiest to warm the pan with a hairdryer, and then remove the sides, but you can also wrap a kitchen towel damped with hot water around the pan and leave it there for 10 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

More Dorie recipes I've made from Baking: From My Home to Yours

Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake
Bill's Big Carrot Cake
Fresh Tangelo Cream Tart
Gooey Chocolate Cakes
Perfect Party Cake
Brioche Raisin Snails
Russian Grandmothers' Apple Pie-Cake
Snickery Squares
Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits
Almost-Fudge G√Ęteau


Peabody said...

It was some good stuff.
Yours turned out great.

noskos said...

Beautiful looking pie!!

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

Very yummy looking. Excellent shots.

Rebecca said...

Gorgeous! The mix-ins make all the difference with that peanut butter filling.

Anonymous said...

aw, I'm always looking for new BFFs! So glad you enjoyed the recipe. I feel like the coolest kid in school today!

Amy said...

I love your pictures - just wonderful! And the torte looks like it turned out perfectly!

Christine said...

This was like a big reese's peanut butter. Your torte and pics are wonderful!

PheMom said...

So good!! Looks beautiful!

Tracey said...

Nice job - that's one beautiful torte!

Heather said... good! It look delicious! Great job!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

gosh that ganache looks sooo good! nice work on the torte!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Looks like a perfect torte! Great job!

Shari said...

Looks delicious!

Melissa said...

20 minutes in the freezer worked wonders when I didn't have time for the fridge! Looks great!

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