Monday, May 5, 2008

Peanut Butter Torte

From Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, pages 282-283

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
I used Twistos, the Stop and Shop version

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 I used neufchatel
1 ½ c salted peanut butter – crunchy or smooth (not natural; I use Skippy)
I used lower salt generic brand
2 tablespoons whole milk I used skim
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 I sprayed with Pam 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. Scrape 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 mouse 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.

I was so looking forward to this one. Peanut Butter is one of my all time favorite treats, and it is only made that much better when chocolate is added. I knew I would be loving this when I first saw it was Elizabeth from Ugg Smell Food's choice for this week.

I was delighted by how this turned out. Decadent. Rich. Creamy. OH. MY. GOD. This was so darn good. The problem, however, was that it was too much. I cut my torte into 8 slices, but think 16 probably would have been better.

It was pretty too! Mine came out PRETTY!! I look week after week at my fellow TWD Bakers' work (you can check them all out at Mine usually doesn't look great, but this time it did!! I brought it out for some friends at lunch and they ooohed and ahhhed at it.

It actually wasn't that tricky to make, either, unlike the other recipes I've made from Dorie's book. It had a lot of steps, and it took a lot of time, but it really wasn't all that difficult!


Cafe Johnsonia said...

Looks great!

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

Lovely torte! You should think about changing your blog name - work looks great.

Bridget said...

This is definitely a lot of dessert! Good thing you had some friends to pawn if off on.

Anonymous said...

mine turned out pretty, too! Glad you liked it!

Anonymous said...

It is pretty! I used Pam with flour on my spring form pan. I had no trouble taking it out at all.

CB said...

So glad you liked it! I agree. It wasn't too hard to make and its so good! Great job!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

Christine said...

Beautiful pie!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

looks great! i, too, wondered why dorie says it serves 6-8--that's crazy big. i made a 6-inch and still got 6 servings!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Great job making a pretty dessert! It was "a lot" in the end. Glad you were able to share!

Jaime said...

great job! i agree, 8 slices is way too big! :)

Anne said...

Great job! I'm glad it turned out for you. It looks delish!

Heather said...

Great job! Looks delicious!

Dianne's Dishes said...

I really liked this one too. Your torte looks great!

Cheryl said...

Looks good! I was also surprised to see how easy this recipe was. Usually I'm not a fan of multi-part recipes, but this was much easier and faster than I had expected.

Shari said...

It's delicious and rich, in a good way.

Melissa said...

Yours looks great! I cut mine (and I quartered the recipe) into 8 pieces and it was still too much!

cruisingkitty said...

Yours looks wonderful and very tasty!
It was a HUGE torte wasn't it? I find I'm giving more and more away each week!
Donna @ Spatulas & Corkscrews

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