Sunday, March 23, 2008

Dorie's Peanut Butter Torte!

We are going to Mark's sister Marcia's home for Easter Dinner. I am to bring a salad (yay!) and the dessert (yay again!). Since we will usually have so much food, I like to do a simple green salad, maybe with some cranberries, blue cheese and pecans optional, with a light viniagrette. That recipe is below.
But I am splurging on the dessert, and since I have in my possession Dorie Greenspan's wonderful book Baking: FromMy Home to Yours
I thought her recipe for Peanut Butter Torte sounded like a hit.
Note-It was well received , but VERY rich.

Here's the recipe...
Dorie's Peanut Butter Torte
heat oven to 350 deg. Butter a 9" springform pan and set aside on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Toss together in a small bowl-
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
2 t sugar
1/2 t instant expresso pwder or instant coffee - finely ground
1/2 t cinnamon
pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
14 to 1/2 c mini chocolate chips
Set this bowl aside. (this will be used in the filling)
24 whole Oreo cookies- finely crumbled (I used food processer, or use blender)
1/2 stick (4T) melted butter
Put these 3 items in a small bowl and toss with a fork just until evenly moistened. Press the crumbs into and up the side of the springform pan. (Sides should go up about 2 inches.)
Place in freezer for 10 min. then bake at 350 for 10 min. Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack.
2 c heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar plus 1 more cup (divided)
12 oz cream cheese at room temp.
1 1/2 c peanut butter- creamy or crunchy-but don't use natural
2 T milk
1/4 c chopped peanuts
In a large bowl, beat cream until med. peaks form, add 1/4 c. conf. sugar and beat until cream holds firm peaks. Scrape the cream in a bowl and refridgerate until needed.
In the same bowl (wipe out- no need to wash) beat the cream cheese and the 1 c. conf sugar on med. speed until satiny smooth.. Beat in the peanut butter, the 1/4 c chopped peanuts and the milk.
Using a large spatula, gently stir about one quater of the whipped cream to the pb mixture to lighten it up. Then, gingerly fold in the set aside bowl of nuts and spices andthe rest of the whipped cream.
Scape the mousse into the crust, mounding and smoothing the top. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight, cover with plastic wrap as soon as the mousse firms.
4 oz fine chocolate (Dorie calls for bittersweet- I used Guittard milk choc.)
1/2 c cream (maybe a little less)
1/2 c peanuts, chopped or not
Melt the choc. in a bowl set over simmering water. Leave the bowl for about 3 min. Meanwhile, bring the cream to a boil, then pour cream over choc. and remove from heat. . Very gently stir together until ganache is completely blended and glossy. ( My ganache was a lil' too soft- I would use less cream next time.)
Pour over chilled tart, smooth with a metal spatula; top with 1/2 chopped nuts. and chill to set about 20 min. Run a hair dryer around sides of springform for a few seconds to release pan. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Here is the recipe for the viniagrette...

Herb-Mustard Vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced shallot
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/3 cups mild flavored olive oil
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

My version- For the salad:
Your choice of lettuce (romaine is good)
Blue cheese
Dried Cranberries
Spicy Glazed Pecans (see below)

Spicy Glazed Pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoons water
1/2 scant teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teas Worchester sauce
1 cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or use your favorite liner.

Combine first 5 ingredients in heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves; boil 2 minutes. Add pecans and stir until pecans are well coated with mixture, about 1 minute. Transfer pecans to prepared sheet, spreading evenly. Bake until the pecans are beginning to brown, anywhere from 11 to 13 minutes.

(Note- can be microwaved instead- omit the water- micro for 3-5 min stir every 30 sec.)

Transfer the cooked pecans to a parchment lined sheet and keep separate. Cool completely.

Store in airtight container

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