Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Peanut Butter Torte : TWD

This weeks challenge of a peanut butter torte, as soon as I saw the picture, was another dessert that immediately begged the question "Where can I bring this" so that I didn't end up with a giant calorie ridden sweet in the house tempting us.

A friend of mine is getting married in a couple weeks, and we were plotting her bachelorette party for Saturday evening, so I figured it the perfect opportunity to rid my house of this temptation.

Reading through the directions, the only step that worried me was the cool time since I knew I'd need to be out the door by 4:30ish to get to the party, and Saturday/Sunday are my big baking days. I'd hoped to get the ingredients Friday night to get an early start on Saturday, but you know what they say about 'best laid plans'...

Anyhow, I was able to put this together pretty quickly, with the help of a few time saving ideas (I did feel sorry for the make a wish people when pounding their contest note with my tenderizer for a speed 'chop'...). I was left with closer to 3 hours of cool time instead of 4, so I 'helped' things along by starting it in the freezer for about 45 minutes, then into the fridge to get a more regulated temperature.

It came out nice and chilled, and made its way to the party where there were many 'ooohs' over it. I had decided to add the leftover oreos to the top as a decoration as to cut down on the leftovers in the house, and I think it added a whimsical charm. I think Nabisco could make some good money if they produced peanut butter covered oreos.

I gave the bride to be a chance to slice into the cake, nice practice for the big day. Though if she gets that same maniacal look whilst holding the knife, If I were her new husband, I'd make a run for it (just kidding!).

The cake served up pretty easy on some nice beachy plates for munching as we moved into the next party game - a rousing version of dirty pictionary. My musically inclined husband, by the way, was quite proud when I relayed getting a quick win for "g spot" by drawing a bar of sheet music with a treble clef and a note on "G".

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.


Engineer Baker said...

I don't know why, but I saw the oreos on top and it made me think of oreo sharks swimming in a peanut butter mousse sea. So great picture, and that probably just made my day! :-P

Katrina said...

Oreo Sharks! Thats great!

Rebecca said...

Ooh, perfect for a Bachelorette Party! Good thinking.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

lol! what a funny post and a great looking torte!

Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll!

Christine said...

Loved your post. This torte would be perfect for a party. Hope everyone enjoyed! Great job!

Natasha said...

the cake was definitely awesome... thanks for making my night special Kat!

The Bride!

Heather said...

omg...the oreos on top look so good! Great job on your torte!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Very nice torte and how fun to share it with your friends!

Kristen said...

Oh yummy... I just can't get enough of this torte!

rebekka said...

Love the oreos as decoations!

Shari said...

I like how your oreos are peeking through!

Melissa said...

The oreos on top look great!!!

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