I was really excited about this week’s recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie. Elizabeth of Ugg Smell Food chose this week’s selection, the peanut butter torte, which was definitely one of the recipes I’d been wanting to make from Dorie’s cookbook! Only a handful of the recipes in the cookbook have photos, but those that do immediately warrant more attention than those that do not. This looked incredibly tasty and as an extra bonus, I figured Shane would be excited about trying this one out. One of the hardest parts about baking so much around here is trying to figure out what to do with all of the goodies so it’s always helpful when I make something Shane will like!!

The peanut butter torte came together perfectly this week, which was a relief since last week’s cake was sort of a flop. It was my first time using a springform pan and even that went well! I think this was one of the prettiest desserts I’ve ever made! I tried a small piece and thought it was good, but it was a bit too rich for me. Shane, however, loved it and my mother’s coworkers raved about it as well!

I did change the recipe up a bit this week. I left the peanuts out (Shane didn’t want them), used semi-sweet chocolate instead of bittersweet for the ganache and topped the torte with more mini chocolate chips instead of peanuts. Also, I’d heard that some of the girls had problems with only using 24 Oreos for the crust so I loaded mine up with 35 Oreos (plus a little extra butter (2-ish tablespoons) to hold them together)! Overkill, perhaps, but it all worked out. Be sure to check out the rest of the tortes over at TWD!

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

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
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.