While my parents were in town for Easter last week we had a mini birthday celebration for my Dad’s 58th.
My dad has many claims to fame, but one of my favorites is his propensity to come up with and teach me about great food combinations.
Some of my favorites include olives in egg salad, ketchup with macaroni and cheese, french onion dip on a baked potato and my all-time favorite, peanut butter on Oreos. (For the record, he was doing this long before Nabisco came out with peanut butter stuffed Oreos.)
That last combo makes up the core flavors of the dessert I chose to make for his birthday: An Oreo cookie crust filled with a crunchy peanut butter mousse and topped with a smooth chocolate ganache. Otherwise known as Peanut Butter Torte.
Drooling yet? Me too. Wipe your chin and let’s press on.
The bulk of the torte should be made a day in advance so that it has time to chill in the fridge. You’ll begin by using a food processor to turn 33 Oreo cookies (cream included) into crumbs. Once you mix the crumbs with melted butter they’re pretty easy to work with. Take your time working them up the sides of the pan and be sure to press them firmly into place.
The recipe calls for 1 and a 1/4 cups of chopped nuts. A 1/2 cup of them go right into the crunch (pictured above), 1/4 cup of them go into the peanut butter batter and 1/2 cup go on the top of the cake. I’m telling you this because I got a little confused and probably put too many nuts in all together. No harm, no foul.
The egg whites are whipped, combined with sugar, and whipped again to create an airy cream that is later used to lighten things up.
The batter is just slightly less stiff than cookie dough and just as tempting to taste.
Demonstrating your best folding skills, combine the batter with the cream you made earlier. The whipped cream will lighten the combination into a mousse-type filling. Who knew peanut butter could be so decadent?
Finally, it’s all gently mounded into the Oreo crust. You didn’t forget about the Oreo crust did you!?
Once you’ve exerted all of your self control and refrained from just taking a spoon to that rich, creamy, batter, smooth it out and quickly get it into the refrigerator (which of course needs to be rearranged just to make room) for the night.
The following day is ganache day! Follow the directions and don’t melt the chocolate completely on its own but rather allow the boiling-hot heavy cream to do it for you. I was skeptical that the cream would be hot enough to smooth out the chocolate but it worked, sure enough!
Next – spread the ganache on top of your chilled torte, top it off with the rest of your chopped peanuts and then put it back in the fridge to really seal the deal.
Every step of this recipe – the whipping, the chopping, the refrigerating over night – is all really, really, worth it. Thus making this torte worthy of Dad’s birthday celebration, even if it was a few days late
Source: Annie Eats
5 and 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Pinch of salt
1 and 1/4 cups salted peanuts, finely chopped and divided
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg
2 cups heavy cream
1 and a 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 and a 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter (not natural)
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9″ springform pan.
Press the oreo mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
Place the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes then bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before going any further.
Combine 1/2 cup of the chopped peanuts, the mini chocolate chips, sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Toss to mix and set aside.
Whip 2 cups of the cream until it holds medium peaks.
Beat in 1/4 cup of the powdered sugar and whip until the cream holds medium-firm peaks.
Transfer the whipped cream into a separate bowl, cover, and refrigerate until used later.
Using the mixer’s paddle attachment beat the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar on medium speed until smooth.
Beat in the peanut butter, whole milk, and 1/4 cup of the chopped peanuts.
Using a spatula, gently fold in 1/4 of the whipped cream.
Next, fold in the crunchy peanut mixture.
Finally, fold in the remaining whipped cream.
As soon as the mousse sets cover the pan with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate over night.
To make the ganache use a double boiler to soften the chopped chocolate but don’t completely melt it.
When the chocolate seems to be getting soft, bring the 1/2 cup of cream to a boil.
Remove chocolate from the heat and pour the cream over it.
Stir together until the chocolate has completely melted and smoothed.
Sprinkle the remaining peanuts over the top.
Chill to set the ganache and then remove the springform pan and cover the torte until ready to serve.