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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
You 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!
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.