Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte

I've had this dessert planned for Bryan's birthday since last May - 11 months in advance! My friend Taylor made this dessert for her boyfriend's birthday then and when I saw it, I knew it would be perfect for Bryan's birthday too. He loves anything peanut butter and chocolate! I do too, but he's the one who grew up on peanut butter cup ice cream, when I usually prefer cookies and cream. So, I knew that this recipe would be perfect for a die-hard fan of the peanut butter and chocolate combo!

There is a little bit of planning involved in making this dish. I made the torte the night before his birthday so that it could set in the fridge overnight. Bryan actually helped me out in making the chocolate ganache topping the next day because we were going out to Cafe Iberico right when I got home from work, and we wanted to be able to dig into this torte right when we got back!

We were not the least bit disappointed! This torte is amazing!!! I wouldn't change a thing about it! I urge you to make this dessert the next time you need to impress someone because it is sure to be a crowd pleaser! The plus side, it looks fancy and is not even hard to make!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte
from Brown Eyed Baker 


24 Oreo cookies, finely crumbled, or ground in a food processor
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup chopped peanuts, divided
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp instant coffee
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, or chopped semisweet chocolate
2 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted 
12 oz cream cheese, at room temperature (this is 1 1/2 of normal sized cream cheese logs)
1 1/2 cups peanut buter
2 tbsp whole milk
4 oz chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

For the crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 9 inch springform pan with cooking spray, and place on baking sheet. 

Combine the finely crushed Oreos, salt, and melted butter and mix until crumbs are moistened.  Press into prepared springform pan to evenly cover the bottom, and 2" up the side of the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  
For the filling:
Combine 1/2 cup of the chopped peanuts, the granulated sugar, instant coffee, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate chips and toss in small bowl.  Set aside.  
Whip 2 cups of the cream with an electric mixer until it holds medium peaks (medium peaks retain marks of the whip and will hold a soft peak that droops over slightly).  Beat in 1/4 cup of the confectioner's sugar and beat until the whipped cream holds medium-firm peaks.  Transfer to a separate bowl (if you will need the same bowl to mix together the cream cheese and peanut butter) and place it in the refrigerator.  
In mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and remaining 1 cup of confectioners' sugar until smooth.  Beat in all of the peanut butter, 1/4 cup chopped peanuts, and the milk.  
With a rubber spatula, gently fold in a quarter of the whipped cream.  Add the peanut/coffee/chocolate mixture you made earlier, gently folding in.  Lastly, add the rest of the whipped cream and gently fold in. Scrape this mixture into your prepared crust.  
Refrigerate 4 hours, or overnight to let mousse firm.  
After the mousse has firmed, make the ganache.  Place chopped chocolate in a bowl.  In small saucepan, bring remaining 1/2 cup cream to a boil.  Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate, let sit for one minute, then stir to completely blend.  Pour ganache over mousse, and spread evenly with a spatula.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of chopped peanuts over the ganache, and chill to set the topping.  This takes about 20 minutes.    
When the ganache is firm, you will want to remove the sides of the springform pan.  It was recommended to do this by warming the pan with a hairdryer for a few seconds or placing a warm, damp towel around the pan for 20 seconds.  I used the hairdryer method and it worked great.  Chill the torte until ready to serve.   

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