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Thursday
Nov032011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte

We are happily sitting in bed and writing this post from the comforts of our own home and, more specifically, a home with lights.

This week we learned a little lesson that we think was potentially a tad unnecessary and that is; don't take electricity for granted. Or heating. Or hot water. Or fridges and freezers. Or washers and dryers. Or garage doors that open with a clicker thing. Thankyouverymuch, Mother Nature.

That's right, gang, we were without power for 4 whole days. Like, for reals. Seriously. WHAT YEAR IS THIS?!?! How is it possible that it took 72 hours to fix some freaking power lines?!?! For the love. Have we not progressed past this kind of lame infrastructure challenge? Next thing you know we will be fording rivers because no one can build a bridge that stays up...oh wait.

Whatever. We are over it. 

But, of all the creature comforts we missed, you'll be shocked to hear that we bakers mostly missed the oven. (Yes, it is gas, but how do you light a gas oven with a match? Er, scratch that, we don't want to know because we would def stick our heads in the oven which would NOT end well.).

A whole 4 days without baking was torture! We would totally rather listen to Chumbawumba on repeat for 13 hours (which happens to accurately describe the time spent on a high school road trip to a state basketball tournament...no, we were not players, just fans). 

So, obvy the first thing we did upon returning to this century was bake a little something. Because, while the power being restored was a pretty sweet birthday pressie...birthdays, by the way, lost their fun factor for us approximately 7 years ago so we typically like to ignore them. Only our own though! We love other peoples' b-days...YAY candles and cake!!

Wait, where were we? Oh yes, the best pressie this year, better than basic human requirements like lighting, was the giant, delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte that we whipped up as soon as the oven was functional. We've had our eye on it for ages now after spying the treat on the marvelous Annie's Eats blog and it seemed appropriate given there was just so much to celebrate...heating, hot water, fridges, freezers...

Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte
Serves 8-10
Adapted from Annie's Eats 

Print Recipe

For the Crust:
32 Oreo cookies (about a 15.5 ounce package with some extra to snack on)
5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt

For the Crunch:
1 cup salted peanuts, finely chopped, divided (for the filling, crunch and topping)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
2 teaspoons granulated 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 powedered (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter (not natural, we used Jif)
2 tablespoons whole milk

For the Topping:
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper (to make it easier to slide the cake off the bottom and serve on a pretty plate) and place it on a baking sheet. Combine the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in a food processor until finely ground and well combined. Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and up the 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.

To make the crunch, in a small bowl combine a 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.

To prepare the filling, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip 2 cups of the heavy cream until it holds medium peaks.  Beat in 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and whip until the cream holds medium-firm peaks. Scrape the cream into a separate bowl and refrigerate until needed. 

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 powdered 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.

Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir in about 1/4 of the whipped cream just to lighten the cream cheese mousse mixture.  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 filling firms up a bit.

To finish the torte, put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and microwave in 30 second increments until the chocolate is almost melted. Stir vigorously between heatings and be careful not to burn the chocolate...the hot cream will melt the chocolate further. Bring the 1/2 cup of heavy 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.

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, use a very sharp, short knife and run it along the sides of the pan to loosen the crust a bit. Then, very gently remove the sides of the springform pan.  Slide the torte off the springform pan base very carefully onto a serving plate. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Reader Comments (12)

Oh yum yum yum! Glad you have power now! :)

November 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErin

OMG! It's all the best parts of the Montana Restaurant's Mile High Mud Pie all rolled into one! I love those things! I'm going to have to make this one. Maybe for Thanksgiving! Thank you!

November 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTeri

WHAT?!!? No power for 4 days ... don't people know there are important things to be done requiring electricity - baking cookies, storing ice cream ... and making this yum-tastic torte!! This looks dreamy :)

November 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiving The Sweet Life

I've experienced not having power for weeks...due to hurricanes. :) This looks so beyond amazing I can't stop looking at it!

I so know how you feel! My power was out for almost 36 hours, but it felt more like 36 weeks! This torte looks like a glorious way to celebrate being able to bake again. :)

November 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMiriam @ overtimecook

Do you scrape the white part out of the Oreos before crushing them?

November 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy

Hi Peggy,

We just blitz the entire Oreo! Regular, not double stuff.

November 3, 2011 | Registered CommenterBlue Eyed Bakers

Bummer you were out of power for 4 days, I know what that is like back in 2001 we had a bad ice storm and we were out for 12 long days ;(. I also know the feeling when you haven't baked for a few days. Glad it's all back on and working. This recipe looks fabulous, I love chocolate and peanut butter it looks so rich and delicious.

November 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

This looks almost too delicious, almost.

November 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren at Keep It Sweet

This is one of my favorite desserts! So rich and decadent. I need to make it again soon!!

November 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJusteen

oooh, this torte looks amazing! You can never go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter, but the lightly and fluffy texture here it to die for!

November 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie@Cozydelicious

kill me slowly. darn this looks tasty. i would love someone, ANYONE, who would go and make this for me and bring it to my bedside. i have no heat so i know how you feel... been hiding under my covers for the past 48 hours! this may very well have to be the dish i make up after the heat comes back on and i am willing to arise from the comforts of my bed. thanks for sharing, you two... you're both GREAT!
Katie at www.ohshineon.com

November 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

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