Monday, July 8, 2013

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Torte

Who doesn't love chocolate and peanut butter? Apparently everyone in my family loves it-- I barely had time to get pictures of this torte before it was gone! And speaking of pictures... is my brother photo bombing the torte. He is always so appropriate and helpful. :). I made this dessert last week for my family-- everyone was in town and at my parents' house for the big Fourth of July celebration, so I made a different treat every night. My parents are the best hosts in the known world, so this was the least I could do. This torte was one of the only desserts that I got a chance to photograph before it was eaten!

I've made this a few times with great success. There's very little baking involved which makes it great for summer -- but be aware that it does make a lot of dirty bowls as you assemble it, so be ready. It also looks super-impressive when you take it out of the springform pan. And did I mention that it's really, really good? Yeah. It is. :)

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Torte
From Annie's Eats:


For the Crust
1 package Oreo cookies, finely crumbled
5 1/3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted 
Pinch of salt

For the Crunch
1/2 cup salted peanuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp espresso powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg

For the Filling
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp whole milk
1/4 cup salted peanuts, finely chopped

For the Topping
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
Honey roasted peanuts (optional)
Mini Reese's cups (optional)

Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350. Butter or spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Combine the Oreo crumbs, butter, and salt in a bowl and toss with a fork until the mixture resembles wet sand. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Freeze the crust for 10 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool. 

Make the crunch: In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup chopped peanuts, mini chocolate chips, sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss with a fork and set aside. 

Make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip with 2 cups of cream with the whisk attachment until it holds medium peaks, then beat in 1/4 cup powdered sugar until it holds medium-firm peaks. (This can also be done in a large bowl with a hand mixer.) Scrape the whipped cream into another bowl and refrigerate until needed. 

Wipe out (don't wash!) the bowl you used to make the whipped cream-- in the same bowl, use the paddle attachment to beat the cream cheese with 1 cup powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in peanut butter, milk, and remaining 1/4 cup of chopped peanuts. 

Using a large spatula, gently stir about a quarter of the whipped cream into the mousse to make it easier to work with. Then, stir in the crunch using the spatula, making sure to evenly distribute it throughout the mousse. Carefully and lightly fold in the remainder of the whipped cream. Scrape mousse into cooled crust and smooth the top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours-- cover once mousse has set. 

Make the topping: Warm 1/2 cup of heavy cream in the microwave (approx a minute and half). Place chopped chocolate in a large liquid measuring cup. Pour warm cream over chopped chocolate and let sit for 4-5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Pour ganache over the top of chilled torte-- smooth ganache to edges of torte with a small offset spatula or knife. Ring the top of the torte with mini Reese's cups and scatter honey roasted peanuts over the ganache, if desired. Chill torte until ganache is set. Remove from springform pan and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

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