Tuesday, May 6, 2008

TWD: Peanut Butter Torte

Holy heavens! This is one rich dessert! I made the mistake (blessing?) of calculating the nutritional information, and decided to skip the ganache topping since it would just be hubby and I eating it (he can handle the calories, I can't!). I left him 1/4 of this in the fridge, as I'll be away for business for a few days - I really hope it's gone when I come back! The rest is sliced and in the freezer... and will definitely be a once-slice-per(overthe)-week treat. Definitely rich and definitely decadent!

Problems (because I always have them): Definitely my first time working with this type of crust. I read some comments indicating it may take more than 24 oreos, so I added a few extra but didn't increase the butter (oops). I had a little difficulty getting it to stay up. I also try to get it unmolded without blow drying it... and some of it stuck to the pan. A lot of it crumbled off the sides when I tried to cut it, as well. I'm not really complaining because it cut a *few* calories off, but certainly something to make note of if I ever wanted to serve this to guests.

Peanut Butter Torte
Source: Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
Chosen by Elizabeth of Ugg Smell Food

~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)(I omitted)
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 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.


  1. I agree! It looks delicious with that chocolate sauce drizzled over the top!

  2. The drizzle of chocolate on top is a great idea - the ganache layer was a bit much. Beautiful torte!

  3. Calculating the calories on these is dangerous territory! So much for "Ignorance is bliss." ;)

  4. Oh my, that looks sinful! Yum.

  5. I love the chocolate drizzle on top of the torte! I am afraid to even look at the calorie contents of the torte, sampling doesn't count right? Great job!

  6. I think the crumbles falling off of the cake look good! Good for you for having enough will-power to skip over the ganache. I could never be as strong as you.

  7. mmm...yum! Great job! Looks delicious!

  8. I thought one of mine tasted delicious without the ganache topping. I am sure it was great! Freezing it makes it taste better I think. Great job!

  9. Your torte looks so good! I love the way you drizzled chocolate on top!

  10. Your torte doesn't look like it misses the ganache at all. As I added each ingredient, I tried not to think about the calories...

  11. I don't wanna know the nutritional info...k? :) Looks great!

  12. At first I thought you had left the crust off on purpose, and I was thinking what a great idea! Yours looks so good, very tall!