Another country… and another installment of Tuesdays with Dorie! The big move is a thing of the past, although my baking equipment still sits in 2 big boxes, and standmixer has yet to find a permanent spot on the kitchen counter. The butter is in one fridge with the vanilla, and the chocolate is in another with the eggs. Half the spices are in the cupboard, and the flours are all over. You get my drift…? Not quite so moved in yet.
Even so, that did not stop me from this week’s TwD – a Peanut Butter Torte chosen by Elizabeth of Ugg Smell Food. I have to admit that I was rather intrigued by the recipe, as it called for almost no baking. Honestly, I think one could have gotten away without baking the Oreo cookie crust, and just stuck with freezing it instead.
I did away with the cream in the Oreos, to try and cut down on unnecessary sugars, and upped ot a touch on the butter to hold the crust together. it worked to a certain extent, but yielded a thicker crust – no complaints there!
The cheese and peanut butter filling was easy enough to make. I’ve never been a huge fan of peanut butter (I know… NUTS, right? Pun fully intended!), and I knew who this dessert was going to go to, so I didn’t hold back on the PB, and chocolate! The salted peanuts made the whole thing a tad too salty, so I would recommend going for standard roasted ones instead.
Overall, I found this dessert much too sweet for me, and all I could manage was two bites and no more. An adjustment to the cheese : PB ratio will definately have to be looked into should this dessert be revisited. No glaze this time, as I wanted to make this a little less unhealthy (it already had oreos, cream cheese and peanut butter!!), but was still well received by the PB lover! I served it with some homemade honeypear vanilla ice cream (this one I LOVED!)
Would I make this again? Maybe. But only on request. Although I think I will experiment baking this instead to make it a little more stable, and not start melting the moment it’s out of the fridge in the Singapore heat! But hey! Don’t let me stop you from trying it yourself…
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Peanut Butter Torte
1 ¼ c. 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 c. 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
Small pinch of salt
2 ½ c. heavy cream
1 ¼ c confectioners’ sugar, sifted
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ c salted peanut butter – crunchy or smooth (not natural; I use Skippy)
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. 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, 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.