Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte

Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte

Around noon yesterday, my heart was pounding as someone was talking over the PA system at work. I tried to play it cool, acting like my work had to be done, even though it was my lunch break. However, I could sense my coworkers were listening in with anticipation too. I entered this recipe in a dessert contest at work earlier that day, and the results were being announced.

 As they announced the winners of each category, I could feel butterflies flying around like crazy in the pit of my stomach. They announced the winners for cake, cookies, brownies, pie and then…miscellaneous. See,  I don’t know what this torte would be considered. Pie? Eh, kind of, but it didn’t LOOK like a pie. Cake? Nope, shaped like a cake, but not a hint of spongey cake texture. So, I just placed it in the miscellaneous category, since this torte is in a league all of its own. For category’s sake on the blog though, I’ll call it more of a pie.

This was the first time I whipped cream and the first time I made a ganache. As I was making these two components, I remember watching Food Network and seeing all of the flops associated with attempting these components. Overbeating cream to a butter, chocolate seizing, etc. I was a bit of a worry worm, because this was a contest and I couldn’t mess up! To be honest, I have no idea why I was scared. Whipping cream was kind of fun to watch, and watched the gananche come together was delicious. I admit, I came close to drooling right into that glass bowl of deliciousness (but I didn’t, I promise).

I loved making this dessert. Peanut butter and cream cheese are usually rather heavy components in recipes, and as I was folding in the whipped cream, it significantly lightened up the filling. The dessert looks deceptively rich and decadent but  because of the whipped cream, it is actually a fairly light feeling dessert. I think this dessert would be amazing for a nice ending to a summer dinner.

Oh, and tastewise? Well, this torte won first place in it’s category. I even have a little blue ribbon to prove it, and the bragging rights in the office. I think that speaks volumes on how amazing this torte tastes!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte
Source: Baking: From My Home to Yours (adapted by Annie’s Eats)

Crust Ingredients:

  • 32 Oreo cookies, finely processed into crumbs
  • 5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Small pinch of salt

Crunch filling Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups salted peanuts, finely chopped, divided (for the filling, crunch and topping)
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. espresso powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Dash of ground nutmeg

Filling ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter (not natural)
  • 2 tbsp. whole milk

Ganache ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I just used 4 oz. of the mini chips)

Directions:

  1. To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet.  Combine the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl.  Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs.  Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan.  Freeze the crust for 10 minutes.  Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling.
  2. To make the crunch, in another small bowl combine 1/2 cup of the chopped peanuts, mini chocolate chips, sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Toss with a fork to mix and set aside.
  3. To prepare the filling, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip 2 cups of the cream until it holds medium peaks.  Beat in 1/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar and whip until the cream holds medium-firm peaks.  Scrape the cream into a separate bowl and refrigerate until needed. 
  4. Wipe out (do not wash) the mixer bowl, replace the whisk with the paddle attachment, and beat the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until the cream cheese is satiny smooth.  Beat in the peanut butter, whole milk, and 1/4 cup of the chopped peanuts until well combined.
  5. Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir in about 1/4 of the whipped cream just to lighten the mousse.  Still working with the spatula, stir in the crunchy peanut mixture, then gingerly fold in the remaining whipped cream.  Scrape the mousse into the crust, mounding and smoothing the top.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight; cover with plastic wrap as soon as the mousse firms.
  6. To finish the torte, put the chopped chocolate or mini chips, in my case,  in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.  Leave the bowl over the water just until the chocolate softens and starts to melt, about 3 minutes; remove the bowl from the saucepan.  Bring the 1/2 cup of cream to a full boil.  Pour the cream over the chocolate and, working with a rubber spatula, very gently stir together until the ganache is completely blended and smooth.
  7. Pour the ganache over the torte, smoothing with a metal icing spatula.  Scatter the remaining peanuts over the top and chill to set the topping, at least 20 minutes.  When the ganache is firm, run a knife along the side of the springform to ensure nothing is sticking, and then remove the sides of the springform pan.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies

Peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven. Brownies are simply amazing and easy. In fact, this is the one dessert where my KA stays in the cabinet. A simple bowl and wooden spoon are all you need, and wow, the results are nothing short of amazing.

With a potluck coming up at my work, I decided to make some delicious peanut butter cheesecake brownies. I’ve made this recipe before, but I wanted something sinfully rich. After seeing the words “triple chocolate brownies” on Annie’s Eats, I knew I had to use this for my brownie base. I still used the peanut butter cheesecake swirl in the original recipe, and the results were awesomely rich, as in be prepared to have a glass of milk handy…I’m not kidding.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies
Sources: Brownie Batter – Baking Illustrated (found on Annie’s Eats) PB Cheesecake Batter – Baking Blonde

Brownie Ingredients:

  • 5 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into quarters
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups (8¾ oz.) sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (5 oz.) all-purpose flour

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Batter Ingredients:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cups creamy PB
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 5-6 regular sized Reese’s peanut butter cups, chopped

Directions:

  1. Place an oven rack in lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth.  Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth.  Set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt; whisk until combined, about 15 seconds.  Whisk in the warm chocolate mixture until incorporated.  Then stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until just combined.
  4. In separate mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add egg and beat until just combined.
  5. Pour 2/3 of the brownie mixture into the prepared pan and spread with a spatula to make an even layer.  Then add 1/2 of the peanut butter cheesecake mixture on top. Using a knife, gently swirl the mixtures together. Add the remaining brownie batter, then the cheesecake batter and swirl again.
  6. Bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, about 45-50 minutes. Then, take out the brownie pan and add the chopped Reese’s cups to the top. Place it in the oven for a couple of minutes, until just melted.
  7. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
  8. Remove the brownies from the pan using the foil and transfer to a cutting board.  Cut into squares as desired.  Store in an air-tight container.

Blake Makes! PBDDL!

The wonderfulness that is peanut butter dulce de leche (otherwise known as PBDDL) came in earlier this week, and let me tell you how excited I was! How do you get it? Go to Blake’s website and sign up to be in Soopz! He is a foodie like many of the bloggers that are Soopz members, and he has a new product, which is PBDDL. In order to get the word out, he has giveaways of his products, and now I’m pretty sure many people are all anxiously awaiting it’s selling debut! (mmm)


Another bonus? He is a fellow NOLA-ian. Represent f’real!

With my PBDDL, I made cupcakes! Weight Watchers friendly cupcakes! Now these were flimsy, but there was nothing bad to say about the richness and taste of it…just take a spoon and go crazy! Mmm…

Recipe

10 oz. diet coke
1 box Chocolate cake mix
1 egg white

Bake according to the box recipe. However, halfway in the middle of the baking time, I placed mini Reese’s cups inside, and then let it bake the rest of the time.

The real fun is here…thanks to Allrecipes!

I 1/4ed the recipe though since I only had 1/4 cup of peanut butter to work with :). Delicious though!!

INGREDIENTS

* 1/8 cup butter, softened
* 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (used PBDDL)
* 3/4 tablespoons milk, or as needed
* 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS

1. Place the butter and peanut butter into a medium bowl, and beat with an electric mixer. Gradually mix in the sugar, and when it starts to get thick, incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable. Beat for at least 3 minutes for it to get good and fluffy.