Tuesday, May 6, 2008

TWD: Peanut Butter Torte!

This week at our house has been super busy. A couple of weeks ago we bought a new house as an investment property that will go back on the market in August. My husband is a remodeler, so it is right up his alley. But between our commitments and obligations, finding time to bake or cook for that matter, has been few and far between. But when I can, I embrace it!

This weekend our church had it's women's conference and I was in charge of feeding the 400! It went so well and it was so neat to serve with such amazing women. Well that being said not much time was left for the torte. But last night after finalizing the order on cabinets around 9pm I hit the grocery for the heavy cream and the torte making began!

My husband who had been working all day and night for the past week was looking at me like I was crazy, but like I said give me an opportunity to cook or bake when things are crazy and I will take it. For me, it's like going to the spa. There is something calming in the whir of the KitchenAid.

It came together so beautifully, no problems, and I quartered the recipe, which still produced plenty of filling! The crust was a little crumbly when I tried plating the first piece this morning but all in all it was again a great, relatively easy recipe with seemingly fabulous results. I did have one little taste and for me it's a little too rich and I love peanut butter. So I don't know if I would make it again. I actually prefer my peanut butter torte with the ice cream better:

My picture does not give this very rich dessert the honor it deserves, so go over to the Tuesdays with Dorie website to see all of the other gorgeous tortes!

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

1 ¼ cups 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 cups 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 (I used salted butter)
Small pinch of salt (I omitted this)
2 ½ cups heavy cream
1 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ cups salted peanut butter – crunchy or smooth (not natural; I use Skippy) (I used creamy/smooth)
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 mousse 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.

Yield: 6-8 Servings


Rebecca said...

Wow, amazing that you found time for this one! I agree, the kitchen is my spa. If only someone else would do this dishes ... ;)

Marie said...

small or not, your torte looks fabulous! I halved the recipe for us, but it's nice to know I could haved quartered it!

Cheryl said...

I can't believe you found time to make it with your busy schedule! Nice job!

Engineer Baker said...

Quick assembly was definitely a plus with this one - I'm glad you had the time to make it!

bakingwiththeboys said...

I absolutely use my kitchen as therapy time. Glad to know I am not the only one. Now get yourself to the real spa!

Annemarie said...

Impressive that you were able to pull it off after such a busy week! Great job!!

Melissa said...

I love peanut butter and it was too rich for me too. 1 bite was plenty!

Heather said...

Great job! Looks delicious!

Mary Ann said...

looks delish! I love the part at the end of the recipe where it says serves 6-8! Maybe if you quarter the recipe! Great job!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Sounds like a busy life! I agree though that baking seems to soothe me! Great job on your torte!

rebekka said...

Wonderful job! The torte probably could have fed the 400 women seeing how rich it was!

lemontartlet said...

Yay for the new investment! Good pic or not, your torte looks really nice.

Jackie said...

Looks like a challenge, but yours looks to have turned out beautifully!

Jaime said...

your torte looks great! i'm impressed you squeezed it in when you had to feed 400 hungry women!