Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie—Peanut Butter Torte

Another week, and another sweet from Dorie’s book of desserts. This time peanut butter and chocolate.

A torte usually means a cake that’s round, has nuts in it instead of or in addition to flour, has a sweet icing, and is made with many eggs. Although there aren’t any eggs in this torte, it still qualifies as a torte. It is definitely sweet!

Bottom
The crust is made of crushed Oreos, butter, and a touch of salt. I thought I’d try both the regular Oreos and the peanut butter version for the crust to see which one I preferred. The peanut butter cookies were definitely thicker than the original version, which made the crust nice and thick to hold the filling.

Regular Oreos and Peanut Butter OreosMiddle
The filling is basically whipped cream with flavorings added to it. Cream cheese gives it that sweet, rich, distinctive flavor that a good cream cheese icing has. Add to that chocolate, peanut butter, a few crunchy bits of peanuts and the flavors of espresso powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg and you have a delicious filling for this torte.

For the chocolate, I once again dug into my stash of Amedei chocolate from the Gooey Chocolate Cake week and wasn’t disappointed with the rich chocolate chunks and ganache that topped this torte.

I experimented with the peanut butter angle, trying regular crunchy peanut butter, a white chocolate-flavored peanut butter, and, just for fun, Nutella.

Peanut Butter, White Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Nutella FillingsTop
For this torte, a ganache is poured over top. Ganache is a fancy way of saying cream and chocolate. You heat the cream, pour it over chocolate, and you have ganache. In Dorie’s recipe, the chocolate is melted over a double-boiler first, and then the warmed cream is added. I cooled this mixture before pouring it over the torte so that it wouldn’t melt the mousse.

Peanut Butter TorteGarnishes
As a garnish, chopped peanuts are sprinkled on top. I tried both salted and unsalted peanuts, but I don’t have a preference after tasting the tortes. Either is fine.

As for other garnishes, I sprinkled some instant espresso powder into crème fraiche leftover from last week, and served it on the side with some banana slices. The tartness of the crème fraiche along with the clean taste of the banana was really nice with this decadent dessert. It’s hard to improve on peanut butter and banana? Except for maybe Nutella and banana!

Playing around with the pan
For half the recipe, I used my mini cheesecake pan to make individual tortes . I like the serving size of this pan for such a rich dessert. For the other half, I used my 6-inch springform pan.

Recipe

Peanut Butter Torte mise en placeYou can find the recipe for Peanut Butter Torte at this blog Ugg Smell Food or in the book Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. To see how the rest of the TWD group fared with this week's recipe, click here and then click on each blogger!

Peanut Butter TorteTasting Notes
This was a rich, delicious, decadent dessert that we enjoyed in small doses.

As for the crust, I liked the old-fashioned Oreo cookie crust. The extra peanut butter-flavored Oreos were a bit too much for this dessert.

For the fillings, all the variations were good, in different ways. The plain peanut butter was sweeter than the other two, the white chocolate in the peanut butter gave it a nice flavor, but the Nutella was my favorite (however, it wasn’t everyone’s favorite).

A variation I tried was a mini banana split sans ice cream, more like a parfait. On a bed of banana, pipe some filling, top with strawberry, sprinkle with nuts, and a dollop of whipped cream, and enjoy.

I also tried freezing one of the mini tortes to serve frozen. Serving it this way took away some of the richness, which made it more pleasant to eat, especially on a hot day. This turned out to be my favorite way to eat this delicious dessert. I think I’ll pop the leftovers in the freezer and save it to serve on Mother’s Day! Thanks, Dorie, for another fine recipe.

Recipe for Next Week (May 13)
Florida Pie on pages 340 and 341 chosen by Dianne of Dianne’s Dishes.





27 comments:

Gretchen Noelle said...

How do you find the time to experiment with the different versions of every recipe? Amazing!! I love the small circles with the crust on the bottom only.

Rebecca said...

Pretty! Frozen was definitely the way to go. Love the idea to use Nutella. Mmmmmmmmmm.

Di said...

I love reading about all your different variations. I'm definitely going to have to freeze some of what I have left--it sounds like it'll be very tasty that way.

Bumblebutton said...

Your first photo looks slippery--as in slipping down my throat. Interesting variations you did--in a more palatable size!

Cafe Johnsonia said...

I love coming over here each week to see what you did, Shari. This week did not disappoint!

Marie said...

Well done as usual. Love the different variations!

CRS said...

Stunning work! Are you auditioning for America's Test Kitchen??

Christine said...

Beautiful job! I love the variations that you made. The mini cheesecake tin is the best. I will definitely have to freeze my next one.

Jerry said...

Love it! And Nutella is a brilliant idea.

PheMom said...

Wow! Now, this is commitment! I love it. These versions all look absolutely amazing and seriously yummy!

Heather said...

I love your pictures! Your torte looks delicious! Great job!

Linda said...

Love how you experimented with the recipe...all of your variations sound and look yummy!

Donna said...

ooooh, they're so very, very cute!
Nutella....mmmmmm!
You're so creative!

Kristen said...

Wow... I am beyond impressed! Gorgeous job.

Mary Ann said...

I absolutely love all your ideas and creativity! I love the mini servings as well. Yum! I wish I could've tried some of your variations!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

i think the nutella would be my fave too! yum!!

Jaime said...

wow, nutella?! how cool! i love both shapes you made and all the different combinations you tried!

Rachel said...

mmmmm, nutella. great job! i always love your take on the week's recipe!

Mara said...

i love the little minis...in a cheesecake pan, perfect! and freezing one, genius. next time...

karen said...

wow! love all the variations.

Bridget said...

Those little individual tortes are so cute.

I agree that small doses was the way to go with this dessert.

CB said...

Love all your fabulous pictures! Great job!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

bakingwiththeboys said...

Nutella...yum! You are such an overachiever. I loved all of your variations

Dianne said...

Oh wow...You really went all out! They look fabulous. I didn't realize until today that they made a peanut butter Oreo!

kim said...

i love all of the different variations you tried! white chocolate peanut butter??? crazy talk... i would love to try that. great review and beautiful photos!

natalie said...

ohhh my gosh those look sooo yummy!!!! and the nutella ones! i just discovered how good nutella was!!!

Melissa said...

Love the variations!