Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie - Peanut Butter Torte

This week's recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie was for a Peanut Butter Torte. This is one of those spectacular looking desserts that is ooey, gooey, oh so creamy and exceedingly rich. The recipe calls for salted peanuts, which I'm not a fan of in sweet desserts so I ommitted them and used finely chopped miniature Reeses Peanut Butter cups in their place. Honestly, I don't really enjoy hard textured items in soft textured desserts and I'm not a huge salt person.

I'm pretty happy with how this turned out but boy was it rich. We got 16 servings out of this cake (made in a 9-inch springform). My husband and I had it for dinner with family one night and then he took the rest to work the next day to share with the co-workers. He got rid of it so I guess it must have been reasonably okay. You definately need to be a peanut butter and chocolate fan to enjoy this though.

I didn't run into any particular problems while making this. Some folks mentioned that the Oreo cookies didn't go far for the crust. I would recommend increasing by 1/2 dozen or more to make sure you have enough to cover the sides.

Peanut Butter Torte
from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

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 (I used whipping 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 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.

Be sure and check out the rest of the Tuesday with Dorie groups version of this scrumptious dessert!

**For some reason I'm having troubles posting the pictures for this - I'll try again later...

1 comment:

Gretchen Noelle said...

Lovely job! I was not a fan of the crunch in the mousse but I bet the PB cups added a great touch instead. Nice job!