Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie: Peanut Butter Torte

There are a few foods that A. really hates. Hates, meaning that just smell of them makes him nauseous, and I'm pretty sure there is dry heaving involved. Peanut butter is one of these foods, so I had mixed feelings when I found out that this week's recipe was Peanut Butter Torte, chosen by Elizabeth. One one hand, A. would probably be furious about the evil peanut butter smell. On the other hand, I happen to love peanut butter. Guess who won??

Peanut Butter Torte

ME! Muahaha. Actually, I seriously considered somehow changing the peanut butter to raspberry, but I figured I'd save the experimenting for another week.

[skip to recipe]

slice of torte

I thought this recipe was pretty simple and easy-to-do. The hardest part was probably smooshing the cookie crust to make it cover enough space in the springform pan (I don't have a food processor, so the crumbs weren't very fine). Oh, and the overnight wait was a killer, too!

some of the ingredients

I wasn't sure what would happen if I used "natural" peanut butter, but I didn't want to use the kind with partially hydrogenated fat... so I took the middle road and used the Whole Foods brand, which contains palm oil instead. I also bought some plain palm oil for future recipes, since it can be used as a substitute for shortening. I don't know that it's actually better, but at least it's natural :)

making the mousse filling

I also omitted the salted peanuts and substituted more chocolate chunks. Because chocolate is way better than peanuts.

filling the torte

The torte itself was delicious, and I really liked the little kick from the cinnamon/nutmeg/espresso mix. Definitely a (messy-to-eat) winner! I probably won't make it again anytime soon, though, to avoid getting any more dirty looks from A.

torte close up

Peanut Butter Torte

1 ¼ c. finely chopped salted peanuts (for the filling, crunch and topping) Note: I omitted these and substituted in ¼ cup extra chocolate chunks, and left off the 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 (or other brand) 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 (114 g + 28 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ c (385 g) salted peanut butter –- crunchy or smooth (not natural; I use Skippy Note: I used the Whole Foods brand)
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. 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.
--end of recipe--

finished torte

Check out the rest of the entries at the TWD blog! You can also see all of my past Tuesdays With Dorie entries here.


Peabody said...

Yeah, I imagine crushing the cookies by hand wasn't much fun.
You did an excellent job on your torte.

noskos said...

Great job! Love your pictures!!

Mumsy said...

Beautiful! Your ganache is so shiny. I love it!

Anonymous said...

This looks wonderful!! I like how you didn't put the chopped peanuts on top - it looks beautiful and shiny!

Marie Rayner said...

FAntastic pictures! Well done! I especially like the last one with the swirls in the ganache!

Linda said...

You pictures are wonderful!! I love how the shiny ganache topped your torte.

Christine said...

I wouldn't like crushing the cookies by hand either. You did an amazing job and I hope you enjoy your torte!

PheMom said...

Very pretty!! I love the pretty chocolately clean top.

Heather B said...

Your torte look so good! Great job!

Mary Ann said...

Looks so good! Great work!

Anonymous said...

Palm oil is SOOOOOOOO much better than crisco! I used the same peanut butter, and Newman-O's!

I really love the slick ganache topping on yours...it makes me wish I didn't put peanuts on top. It looks so fancy!

kimberly salem said...

thanks everyone for your comments! i'm glad you liked the ganache... i was worried it would look boring with no peanuts, so i hoped making swirls would help :)
i'm hoping to get a food processor soon, which would help with the crust... it's on my wish list!

Sharon said...

That looked fabulous! Yum, Yum, Yum.

Anonymous said...

It looks great and your pictures are stunning!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

The chocolate on top is so shiny! Looks delicious.

My Sweet & Saucy said...

Your peanut butter torte turned out fantastic looking! So gooey and delicious!

Helene said...

The next to last shot just made me melt! You did a great job!

Eunice said...

oh my you blow me away.
if you take a look at my 2nd latest blogpost, i've got an ancient asian traditional method i use to grind my cookies! hehe, VERY effective!

and your pictures. *swoons*
i did mention on your flickr but i'll ask again, do you mind me linking you? ;)


kimberly salem said...

thanks everyone!! eunice - that is so funny, because dorie greenspan just posted about the mortar & pestle too! link here

definitely going on my list! :)

Melissa said...

I didn't wait overnight because I didn't read the recipe that carefully. Oops, but it turned out fine. Your ganache looks so pretty!

Danielle said...

Kim--your photos are beautiful!! I am so inspired by your work!


Anonymous said...

Couldn't wait, so I froze mine. Which works really well. If you figure out how to change it to raspberry, I'm in! That would be fun! Love the look of your torte.

Anonymous said...

When I tasted your version on Thursday, I knew that I had to make it!

1. I had the kids crush the cookies into crumbs. Helps to have child labor and they were thrilled to bang away on the ziploc bangs with their hammers :o)
2. Omitting the peanuts in the mousse was genius! I put them in and they absorbed too much liquid and became mushy; well not mushy exactly but definitely not crunchy. I was hoping that the saltiness and crunch would add a good contrasting flavor, but it was very unpleasant to the palate. Next time, and there will definitely be a next time, I too will replace the nuts with chocolate chunks.
3. I did add the nuts on top of the ganache and that worked out very well.

Thanks for all of the inspiration!

kimberly salem said...

thanks everyone! marina, i'm glad you liked mine so much! wasn't it a fun recipe? more fun if you have the kids around to do the hard labor ;)

Lot-O-Choc said...

Omg wow this looks delicious!!
Mm. bet it was yummmy.

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