Marc’s birthday was this past week (he turned 27!) so of course I wanted to make him something special for his birthday cake. He loves all things peanut butter and chocolate (one of the reasons we get along so well) but the cake I made him last year had peanut butter and chocolate. I don’t like to repeat myself so I kept looking and looking for the perfect dessert. Before I knew it, it was his birthday, I had class all day, and still no clue what to make him.
Then I came across this Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte on Brown Eyed Baker. It was perfect because it didn’t require any baking time, and I figured it could set up in the fridge while we went out to dinner. Unfortunately, we weren’t the least bit hungry after dinner. Let’s just say we overdid it with the buttered garlic bread, tomato tortellini soup, chicken parmesan, fettucini alfredo, and lasagna. Yeah…there wasn’t a lot of moderation being practiced that night. Not to mention, the waitress brought out a free birthday dessert for Marc so we had our sweet fix.
Don’t worry though, the chocolate peanut butter torte was NOT forgotten! We were happy to dig in and eat it straight from the springform pan the next day (why am I admitting all of this??). Lucky for you all, we didn’t completely demolish the torte and there was enough left to cut it into pieces that I could photograph. If you have a birthday coming up, or any occasion that calls for a special dessert, you really can’t go wrong with this torte. The creamy peanut butter mousse is smooth yet crunchy from the chopped peanuts and chocolate chips and the rich chocolate ganache complements it perfectly. Marc was a happy birthday boy.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte
from Brown Eyed Baker
1 1/4 cup chopped peanuts, divided
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp instant coffee
1/4 tsp cinnamon
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 (I used crunchy)
2 tbsp whole milk
4 oz chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (I used semisweet)
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*. 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.
*Medium peaks retain marks of the whip and will hold a soft peak that droops over slightly