We had friends coming to visit so I decided it would be a perfect time to try this torte.  But, I realized two things — 1) it tasted a lot better to me the next day and 2) being the weird texture nut – no pun intended – that I am, I wanted to change one thing.  The original recipe calls for folding in part of the nuts with the chocolate chips into the mousse, but something about the nuts kept surprising me in combination with the silky smooth peanut butter filling, and I couldn’t decide whether I liked it or not.  So, next time, my plan is to still mix in the chocolate chips but to reserve all the nuts and spread them on top of the ganache layer.  How you want to make it is up to YOU!

Actually I realized three things.  I was in such a hurry to get the dessert to my guests that I have not a one in the decent picture department…

Okay, one last thing — this is it I promise.  Oreo cookie crusts are delicious.  I keep thinking maybe Oreo cheesecake with an Oreo cookie crust.  OH. MY. GOODNESS.  The End!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte

Crust:

  • 32 Oreo cookies, processed until fine crumbs
  • 5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Pinch of salt

Crunch:

  • 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 (I omitted.)

Filling:

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

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

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.

To make the crunch, in another small bowl combine 1/2 cup of the chopped peanuts (if following my modification do not include these here), 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 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.

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.

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 (if desired), 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.

To finish the torte, put the chopped chocolate 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.

Pour the ganache over the torte, smoothing with a metal icing spatula.  Scatter the remaining peanuts (or all depending on whether you’re following the adaptation) over the top and chill to set the topping, at least 20 minutes.  When the ganache is firm, remove the sides of the springform pan.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Source: Annie’s Eats adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

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