Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I finally purchased the long awaited book, "Baking, From My Home To Yours", by one of my favorites, Dorie Greenspan. Laurie of Quirky Cupcake hosts the group "Tuesdays With Dorie" in which its members bake one recipe a week from her aforementioned book. A chosen member selects what recipe is to be baked each week and on Tuesday of that week, everyone posts. The point of this group is to essentially bake your way through the book while having the support of about 100 other members through the use of forums. This helps with various suggestions, recommendations, substitutions, etc. As if my life isn't hectic enough raising two 10 week old puppies, managing my social life, keeping up with inconsistent hideous NY Mets baseball, and being 3 weeks behind on TiVo; I felt the need to join this group. Sure, why not?
Dorie's Peanut Butter Torte was my first challenge. Let me just say, this torte is fantastic.  The bottom is made up of an Oreo crust using the entire Oreo, as opposed to just the cookie, less the cream.  From here on out I will only make Oreo crusts using the entire cookie--the cream acts as a great binding agent with the butter.  The filling consists of peanut butter, mini chocolate chips, chopped up peanuts, various spices (think nutmeg, et al) and heavy cream to create this amazing light peanut butter mousse that sets beautifully. It is topped off with bittersweet chocolate ganache and I added chopped Reese's around the perimeter for an extra kick. 
I'm excited to see what next weeks recipe is. My goal is to eventually bake everything in this book and 'Tuesday's With Dorie' makes it all the more enticing ;)

1 ¼ c. finely chopped salted peanuts 
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon instant espresso powder (or finely ground instant coffee)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
½ c. mini chocolate chips (or finely chopped semi sweet chocolate)
24 Oreo cookies, finely crumbed or ground in a food processor or blender
*Whenever a crust is required for any recipe I make, I always make more than the recipe calls for. In this case, I crushed up an entire box of Oreos and really packed in the crust to come up high around the edges*
½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt
2 ½ c. heavy cream
1 ¼ c confectioners’ sugar, sifted
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ c salted peanut butter – crunchy or smooth (not natural)
2 tablespoons whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
Chopped up Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (optional)-*this is what I used on top*

Getting ready: center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch Springform pan and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Toss ½ cup of the chopped peanuts, the sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate chops together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Put the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in another small bowl and stir with a fork just until crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the spring formpan (they should go up about 2 inches on the sides). Freeze the crust for 10 minutes.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a rack and let it cool completely before filling.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, whip 2 cups of the cream until it holds medium peaks. Beat in ¼ cup of the confectioners’ sugar and whip until the cream holds medium-firm peaks. Scrape the cream into a bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Wipe out (no need to wash) the bowl, fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment if you have one, or continue with the hand mixer, and beat the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until the cream cheese is satiny smooth. Beat in the peanut butter, ¼ cup of the chopped peanuts and the milk.

Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir in about one quarter 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 mouse 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.

To Finish The Torte: put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl 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 remaining ½ cup cream to a full boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and , working with a a rubber spatula, very gently stir together until the ganache is completely blended and glossy.

Pour the ganache over the torte, smoothing it with a metal icing spatula. Scatter the remaining ½ cup peanuts over the top and chill to set the topping, about 20 minutes.

When the ganache is firm, remove the sides of the Springform pan; it’s easiest to warm the pan with a hairdryer, and then remove the sides, but you can also wrap a kitchen towel damped with hot water around the pan and leave it there for 10 seconds.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.


kimberly salem said...

Welcome to TWD!! Your torte is so pretty, great idea on adding the Reese's to the edge :)

Di said...

I love the addition of the peanut butter cups. Your torte looks great. Welcome to the group!

Bumblebutton said...

Welcome to the group! Very pretty torte, and nice improvisation with the Reese's!

noskos said...

Welcome to TWD! Great looking torte!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Great job with this. I love the PB cup ring around the edge! Welcome!

Delicious Delights said...

Beautiful Torte. Well done!

Heather B said...

Welcome to the group! Great job! Looks delicious!

Sharon said...

Welcome to TWD. That looks great!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I love the rim of crunch. Great job and welcome to the group!

Melissa said...

Welcome! The Reese's were a great idea!