I’ve had this torte on my to-make list for what seems like forever, but the right event just never seemed to pop up. I don’t necessarily need a reason to bake something, but making something like this for only Eric and I is dangerous. Can you imagine having this whole thing in the house, for you to get a piece of whenever you like? (Actually that sounds nice, but I really would have no self control around this torte.) Thankfully, our friend Dan gave us a reason to celebrate recently when he finished his master’s program. I found out from his girlfriend that he loves the chocolate peanut butter combo, and I knew right away that this would be my contribution to his graduation party. So thanks, Dan, for giving me a reason/excuse to finally make this.
Peanut butter and chocolate are good enough on their own and pretty unbeatable when they’re together. It’s a classic combination taken to the next level with this torte. It’s the definition of decadent – a thick Oreo crust surrounds a light and fluffy peanut butter mousse that’s studded with chocolate chips and peanuts. The whole thing is covered in dark, rich chocolate ganache and finished with even more peanuts. I mean seriously, how much more awesome could it get? This dessert is sure to be a crowd pleaser, and it definitely went over well with Dan’s party guests. Eric and I snuck a taste before the party, you know, just to make sure it was as delicious as it looked. ;) I had another (smaller) slice at the party because it was just that good. I tried to resist, but ultimately ended up giving in. Writing this post has made me crave this like you wouldn’t believe, so I may be making another one soon.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte
Makes 1 (9-inch) torte
For the crust:
32 Oreo cookies, finely processed into crumbs
5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt
For the crunch:
1/2 cup salted peanuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg
For the filling:
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter (not natural)
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 cup salted peanuts, finely chopped
For the topping:
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup salted peanuts, finely chopped
To make the crust, preheat oven to 350º. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and set it on a baking sheet. Combine the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in a medium bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all the crumbs, then press into the bottom and sides of the prepared springform pan. Freeze the crust for 10 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before filling.
To make the crunch, combine the peanuts, chocolate chips, sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Set aside.
To prepare the filling, whip the heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until it holds medium peaks. Beat in 1/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar and continue whipping until medium-firm peaks form. Transfer to a medium bowl and refrigerate until needed. Wipe out the mixer bowl (no need to wash) and replace the whisk with the paddle attachment. Beat the cream cheese and remaining 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until smooth. Add the peanut butter, milk and peanuts and continue beating until combined.
Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in about 1/4 of the whipped cream just to lighten the mixture. Stir in the crunch, then gently fold in the remaining whipped cream. Scrape the mousse into the crust and smooth the top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, making sure to cover with plastic wrap as soon as the mousse feels firm.
To finish the torte, place the chocolate in a small bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan and pour over the chocolate. Allow to sit for about 2 minutes, then gently stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Pour the ganache over the torte, using an offset spatula to smooth it. Sprinkle the peanuts over the top and chill for at least 20 minutes or until the ganache has set. Once the ganache is firm, carefully remove the sides of the springform pan. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.