My pal Chelle and I decided to bake something together again, and it was my turn to pick. In celebration of her former nut allergy being completely gone, I decided this would be the ultimate treat for her (and me too, of course.) We both love Oreos and peanut butter, and of course the peanut butter-chocolate combo is hard to resist. This consists of an Oreo crust filled with a light, rich peanut butter mousse, topped with chocolate ganache and chopped roasted peanuts – it’s every bit as delicious as it sounds! I was a bit worried that the peanut butter flavor would be too strong, but the mousse is lightened up nicely with the whipped cream and confectioners’ sugar.
Originally I had intended to make this in mini-springform pans but then couldn’t find all of them, so I just made the full-size. I tasted a piece and sent it off to work with Ben where, I am told, it was a real hit. The only change I made was to increase the amount of Oreo crust by about a third. Some Tuesdays With Dorie members warned me that the original amount might not be sufficient and they were correct. I have altered the recipe below to reflect my changes. This is sure to be a hit with just about anyone and if it is not, I would check for a pulse.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte
For the crust:
32 Oreo cookies, finely processed into crumbs
5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt
For the crunch:
1 1/4 cups salted peanuts, finely chopped, divided (for the filling, crunch and topping)
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 confectioners’ sugar, sifted
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter (not natural)
2 tbsp. whole milk
For the topping:
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet. Combine the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs. Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan. Freeze the crust for 10 minutes. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling.
To make the crunch, in another small bowl combine 1/2 cup of the chopped peanuts, mini chocolate chips, sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss with a fork to mix and set aside.
To prepare the filling, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip 2 cups of the cream until it holds medium peaks. Beat in 1/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar and whip until the cream holds medium-firm peaks. Scrape the cream into a separate bowl and refrigerate until needed.
Wipe out (do not wash) the mixer bowl, replace the whisk with the paddle attachment, and beat the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until the cream cheese is satiny smooth. Beat in the peanut butter, whole milk, and 1/4 cup of the chopped peanuts until well combined.
Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir in about 1/4 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 set 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 1/2 cup of cream to a full boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and, working with a rubber spatula, very gently stir together until the ganache is completely blended and smooth.
Pour the ganache over the torte, smoothing with a metal icing spatula. Scatter the remaining peanuts over the top and chill to set the topping, at least 20 minutes. When the ganache is firm, remove the sides of the springform pan. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Source: adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan