Tuesday, May 6, 2008

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Tuesdays With Dorie: Peanut Butter Torte

Apparently Elizabeth of Ugg Smell Food got together with my husband and chose this week's recipe. If ever there were a recipe that I would expect Alex to pick out of Dorie's book it would be this one. The man has an indescribable passion for peanut butter and seeing the picture alone in Dorie's book would make him want it. Seriously, his love of peanut butter is amazing. I think the man feels bad for all those people that are allergic to peanut butter and peanut products...no wait...he feels bad for all the peanut butter and peanut products that aren't getting eaten by those people allergic to the stuff and he feels the need to eat all of it to make up for what they aren't eating. I like peanut butter but I'm more a fan of it on bread with jelly or on a banana or an apple. For whatever reason peanut butter in desserts just doesn't get me going like it does with Alex. That's why I say Elizabeth and Alex picked this recipe out together because chances are pretty good that I wouldn't have picked the recipe out by myself. I would definitely need Alex to persuade me into making that.

Note: if you know anything about my Kahlua cupcakes, you know it doesn't take much for Alex to persuade me. The man makes me swoon and my knees buckle...how can say no when you can barely hold yourself up?

Anyway, forget that whole thing about Alex and my knees. Let's focus on the recipe. It was a really good dessert. I think Dorie was confused when she said it was 6-8 servings. I think cutting that torte up into 6-8 pieces would send someone into the sugar rush of their lives. The torte is very rich and very sweet. The addition of cinnamon and nutmeg add a whole new dimension to the flavor of the filling. In my opinion, the longer the torte sits in the fridge the better.

Don't forget to go to the Tuesdays With Dorie website and check out all the great blogs.

Peanut Butter Torte
Source: Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours

1 1⁄4 cup finely chopped salted peanuts (for the filling, crunch and topping)
2 tsp sugar
1⁄2 tsp instant espresso powder (or finely ground instant coffee)
1⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1⁄2 cup mini chocolate chips (or finely chopped semi sweet chocolate)
24 Oreo cookies, finely crumbed or ground in a food processor or blender
1⁄2 stick (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt
2 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
1 1⁄4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1⁄2 cup salted peanut butter – crunchy or smooth (not natural; I use Skippy)
2 Tbsp 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 1⁄2 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 1⁄4 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, 1⁄4 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 1⁄2 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. (I put the ganache in the fridge for 5-10 minutes just to help it harden some before pouring it over the torte) Scatter the remaining 1⁄2 cup peanuts over the top and chill to set the topping, about 20 minutes.

I think I overdid it with the nuts

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 saved you a slice :)


Mary said...

wow! that looks so delicious....and my husband would have picked this one too! he's mad at me for not participating this week!

Cafe Johnsonia said...

Great job! It looks perfect.

Christine said...

Your torte looks deelish! When can I pick up my slice?

mimi said...

your torte looks fab, alex is a lucky fella!

Anonymous said...

you can never overdo it on the nuts!

GREAT job..and I'm so glad your husband likes it!

Kelsey said...

Yum! I HAVE to make this for my pb-loving sister!

Rebecca of "Ezra Pound Cake" said...

My husband was all about this one, too. Hopefully, it made up for the figs and polenta. ;)


Marie said...

Fabulous looking torte. Peanut butter makes my knees buckle too!

Bumblebutton said...

I'm just wondering how much of that torte was he able to eat? It seems so very rich! Nice job!

Lynnylu said...

Looks wonderful! I was just in Boston a few weeks ago-it's my favorite city to visit.

Chez Denise et Laudalino said...

Your torte looks really nice, like the photo! We were just in Boston - miss the warmth! Great city!

Annemarie said...

I agree that the longer in the fridge, the better. Even frozen would be fabulous! Nice job!

Melissa said...

Yours looks wonderful!!!

Heather said...

Great job! Looks delicious! I want that slice!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Lovely job! Too bad it may not be your thing, but I am sure your husband appreciated it!

Tarah said...

That looks beautifully delicious!