I finally got a chance to try out this torte at our birthday party for all the little Aries kids.
This tasty was for the mommies & the daddies who nursed a coffee in one hand, nursed a baby in the other & stuffed a bite of THIS baby in between.
The best thing about making this was the fact that Peter (a genuine French man) grabbed my arm & muttered to me in his soothing French accent about how his "Mama" would make him a similar Chocolate Torte & this took him back, "Ow, did you make iiit?". That just warmed my heart!
This has all the elements of adult tasty goodness, it's rich, creamy, nutty & certainly got a bit of an edge with the bitter chocolate ganache. So if you want something new to try for a birthday, try it!!
So, Peter, this is how I made it. Though I didn't follow the recipe word for word (I'll show my changes in Blue) it still turned out great for me. For anyone who cares this is another Dorie Greenspan recipe.
Thanks for the pics Merch!
PS. If anyone thinks this recipe doesn't make very many servings (it says 6-8), you've got to be kidding. It's much too rich for more than a small slice with a good cup of coffee.
Peanut Butter Torte
1 ¼ c. finely chopped salted peanuts (for the filling, crunch and topping) I only ended up using about 3/4 a c.
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 (I just used cookies from the 100Y store & added 3 tbsp cocoa to give it more color)
½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt (I skipped this)
2 ½ c. heavy cream (Don't skimp on the cream, I did accidentally & mixed 1/2 milk 1/2 cream for the ganache....BIG BOO BOO...it nearly curdled!)
1 + ¼ c (114 g + 28 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted (I don't remember now, but I didn't use quite that much sugar at all I believe I only used 1/4 c for the cream & 1/2 c for the cream cheese)
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ c (385 g) salted peanut butter –- crunchy or smooth (not natural; I use Skippy) (So DID I!!)
2 tablespoons whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (The bitter, the better!)
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. (I just buttered my springform pan, gotta keep it simple)
Toss ½ cup of the chopped peanuts, the sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate chops together in a small bowl. Set aside. (I ended up not adding any peanuts to this partially because I didn't read the recipe correctly but also I was using crunchy P.B. so I figured we could do w/o the extra crunch)
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.
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.